Grocery Stores Feel Impact of Truck Driver Shortage, Supply-Chain Issues
It might be harder for you to get some of your favorite items at the grocery store. A global supply-chain problem is one reason for empty shelves.
Jim Almsted, owner of Almsted’s Fresh Market in Crystal, says he has a hard time keeping some items on store shelves these days. Pointing to a bare shelf, he said, “this is where all of our box drinks should be, and we just can’t get any.”
Water, pop, juice and other beverages are in short supply.
“One of the other things that happen is that if we order 50 cases of something, we might only get 20 of it,” Almsted explained.
The snack section is looking sparse too in some spots, especially Frito Lays products. And a few aisles over, customers are hard-pressed to find canning lids.
“My lids for canning, I can’t find them anywhere. I’ve been told that there is an aluminum shortage,” said customer Sue Weiman.
In August, Almsted’s limited how many canning lids customers could purchase, and they quickly sold out.
Supply-Chain Issues Create Domino Effect
Financial experts say there are several reasons for the supply backlog. There’s a material shortage, as well as a labor shortage, including not enough truck drivers to get items to stores.
Some customers are noticing a difference in their wallets. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food prices have gone up 3.7 percent over the last year. Some shoppers say it pays to shop around for good deals.
“Usually get the porterhouse steaks at reasonable prices, and I get them on sale for $7 or $8, or I have, they’re up to $14-$15 a pound,” said customer Elsie Mayer.
Meanwhile, Almsted says the supply chain is also impacting his overall bottom line, but things aren’t as bad as they were at the height of the pandemic.
“If you don’t have it, you can’t sell it, and if you can’t sell it, you know, you can’t get the money to pay your bills,” he said.