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Grocery Stores Are Worried About Food Shortages Again

Increasing COVID-19 cases and Thanksgiving demand has retailers stressed.

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Let's face it, the holidays send us all into a shopping, baking, cleaning craze that persists into the new year. And while, typically, you can just roll up to your local Publix and fill your cart with enough stuffing, pecan pie, Clorox wipes, and toilet paper to survive your in-laws annual Christmas visit, this year might require a bit more forethought.

Retailers nationwide are feeling the pressure of product shortages as COVID-19 cases rise nationwide. Though, yes, toilet paper is once again looking sparse in the Walmart aisles, there's more: brisket, ramen, and peanut butter stocks are dwindling. In fact, grocers like H-E-B and Wegmans are already limiting purchases. 

"Our teams have quickly adjusted to changes in consumer demand, like the surge we saw this spring and the rapid shift to contactless shopping options we experienced throughout the summer and fall," a rep for Target told Yahoo! News.

"To ensure as many guests as possible can find the items they need, we’ve taken measures such as: coordinating stores, distribution centers and suppliers so that the things our guests need most—cleaning supplies, food, over-the-counter medicine and baby products—are fast-tracked through the supply chain and prioritized for re-stocking; sending more inventory to stores than ever before to ensure Target has the most in-demand items this holiday season; and placing limits on products like toilet paper, disinfectant wipes, flushable wipes, hand and face wipes, multi-purpose spray cleaner, gloves and more. We’ll adjust limits as needed, and respectfully ask all guests to consider their immediate needs and purchase accordingly, so more families can find the products they need."

Walmart US CEO John Furner also noted concern for "jelly, bacon, and breakfast food" shortages. But of course, with already increased demand for Thanksgiving favorites, the holidays are just an added stress on an already dwindling supply. 

"We’re nervous about spices and we’re nervous about stuffing," Furner said, according to Eater. “So, I urge everyone that if you’re going to host a Thanksgiving feast, you might want to go to the store sooner rather than later.”

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.