Everyday Household Foods That Might Soon Become Scarce
When it comes to providing for our families, many of us don’t plan beyond a few weeks of groceries, water, and personal products. But have you ever thought about what might happen if supply chain shortages broke down across the globe? We all ought to remember how toilet paper flew off the shelves during the early days of the pandemic, but would you be prepared if items more essential than toilet paper, such as basic food items were to suddenly become unavailable?
Most people don’t realize how huge world events can cause a ripple effect in supply chains, leading to scarcity of common, everyday sustainable foods. With the nation and world in an unprecedented time of uncertainty, the following are the most likely common foods and products that you might want to stock up on before it’s potentially too late…
Potatoes may seem fairly common, but their production is actually more dependent on weather and supply chain disruptions than you might think. Recent shortages have prompted the restaurant industry to take drastic actions to protect their supply of the starchy commodity.
Giants like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King have stopped offering medium and large-sized portions of crispy golden french fries in an attempt to protect their reserves of precious potatoes. Here’s hoping they don’t anger too many customers.
A number of environmental factors caused chickens to be in short supply at the end of 2021. People didn’t look too far past the missing fryers on the shelves to think about what obviously may also be in short supply as a result of fewer chickens around.
In this case, the chicken did precede the egg. Consumers are seeing fewer eggs on store shelves, not to mention a hefty price tag attached to each carton. According to the National Department of Agriculture, carton prices were up nearly 60 percent in 2022, a troubling sign of what an egg scarcity might mean.
While meat and poultry tend to be popular sources of protein, they are certainly pricier options, with fish being the go-to alternative. Salmon, tilapia, and tuna have always been easy and healthy options for meals, especially for those who want to avoid red meat. It’s no surprise that fish has found its way into frequent dinner menus across the globe.
The supply chain issues and inflation that the United States saw in 2022 led to much higher prices for fish all around the country. Seeing higher grocery store and fast food tabs for quick meal items like fish filets should make people stock up on this essential item.
Making matters even worse after much of the United States went on lockdown in 2020, a massive ice storm set Texas poultry farms significantly back in 2021. The storm caused the death of over a million chicks, sending the prices of chicken in grocery stores skyrocketing.
In the coming months, you may see your favorite chicken dishes pulled off restaurant menus as well, with wings being just the start. Not only will they be too expensive to prep and serve, but increasing difficulties with supply might make them nearly obsolete.
The universal appeal and many uses for bread consistently put at the top of shoppers’ lists. After all, making a nice grilled cheese in a sandwich maker got a lot of people through their college years. Even a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich can hit the spot.
The availability of wheat has been severely affected by numerous problems that have been felt since 2020, whether they were labor issues to extreme weather to supply chain problems. The price of the commodity was at a nine-year high at the end of 2021 and the global reserves hit a five-year low in 2022.
Due to a phenomenon of panic buying, consumers tend to purchase “short on supply” items in droves, causing certain goods to fly off shelves with reckless abandon. This is something that often happens with canned goods, which have a longer shelf life than other foods.
People have been quietly stocking away non-perishable items such as canned fruits, vegetables, and meats for years, but it is only recently that we have seen them in short supply. We will all feel better when we see store shelves stocked to the brim once more, but that may not happen so soon.
There’s a reason that rice is one of the most popular food items worldwide. The combination of its simplicity to make together with its low cost have made it an absolute essential in every household. Add on its ability to be paired with nearly every main course, rice is one of the most versatile foods out there.
Farmers’ groups worldwide have warned that 2023 could lead to an extreme rice shortage. India, the biggest exporter of rice in the world, has already stated that they are intending on severely limiting how much of the product they export, with countries in West Africa feeling the hit from the decision.
Having a morning routine is vital to starting your day off right, and your day just isn’t the same without a bowl of your favorite cereal and milk. Anyone with kids can understand how quickly a household goes through this staple, and the dilemma of how much to buy at one time.
It was concerning for many in the summer of 2022 when of the biggest milk processing plants in the Midwest shut down production permanently. Milk went up over 15% in 2022, with its availability at convenience stores was significantly impacted. This is another item to keep in the freezer just in case.
Baby formula is certainly an essential product for any parent of a newborn. While only consumed by a small portion of the population, the pricy powder is certainly considered a staple for many young infants, and a stress for many parents.
2022’s supply chain issues of baby formula, which were partly due to a contamination of several manufacturing plants, caused nationwide shortages, leading to a huge panic in mothers and fathers of millions of babies across the United States. The multiple-month scarcity of the product had anxious parents scrambling to find it anywhere they could, making people realize how disastrous supply chain issues can certainly be.
Essential foods aren’t the only items that are at risk of becoming quite scarce. Other everyday products that we take for granted might very soon be difficult to find as well…
There’s something about using the bathroom that incites extra doses of anxiety. Since 2020, we have seemed to be chronically short of a common household staple. The shortage was so severe at one point that stores deliberately pulled it off shelves in an attempt to conserve supply.
The shortage of toilet paper cannot be completely blamed on the phenomenon of panic buying. According to Bloomberg, the shortage is also connected to issues surrounding the shipping of wood pulp, a critical ingredient used to make toilet tissue.
Sorry ladies. Now supply chain shortages include tampons, something that used to be abundant. TIME magazine first reported the shortage, and nervous consumers began to order products for friends and family as well as stock their own shelves.
Raw materials needed to make tampons, such as plastic and cotton, have been very difficult to obtain, and shoppers who opt for alternative ways of managing menstrual cycles are having to put up with higher prices. What a monthly pain.
We’ve all felt it at the pump. That nagging sense of dread that turns your precious automobile into a gas-guzzling monster. Current economic crises and political unrest in many countries that supply oil to the U.S. can be blamed for high prices.
With Russia precariously poised to restrict oil to most of the Western world, prices per gallon could reach as high as $15 in some parts of the country. Get those walking shoes ready, it may be a while before the situation rights itself.
With additional time on our hands as of the latter half of 2020, many people sought out home improvement projects and other time fillers as we attempted to make improvements to homes and gardens.
Increased demand for lumber arose due to all the new garages and outdoor patios popping up. Lumber companies simply couldn’t keep up with this demand, and production slowed and even stopped in some parts of the country.
With nearly 12 percent of the world’s automobile parts coming from China, car companies like Honda, Nissan, and Mazda have had no choice but to halt production as they wait, and then wait some more, for parts.
While this doesn’t affect all auto manufacturers or automobile parts, some are becoming more difficult to find. Others are on backorder, and still, more are priced higher than they have been in years, making auto repair more expensive overall.
We give our pets all the love and attention befitting of favorite family members. Premium water, soft beds, and the perfect pet food are just a few of the items that we simply must have on hand for our furry friends.
With more people adopting from shelters in recent years, there has been a huge uptick in demand for all pet supplies. Purchase your favorite brands now, or at least have a backup in mind when looking to refresh your stock at home.
Maple syrup, which isn’t just a great topper for waffles and pancakes, is a needed ingredient in a variety of recipes. The sweet liquid is in such short supply that Canada reported the story to NPR, telling the news source that they were going to release nearly 50 million pounds of the country’s “strategic maple syrup reserves.”
What country has a 50 million pound reserve of maple syrup? According to Canadian experts, this amount is about half of the total stockpile that the country owns. While Canada may have that much syrup just in case, their Southern neighbor, the United States doesn’t have nearly that, leading to higher prices nationally.
Thanks to recent innovations in the hot dog industry, people are finding a new appreciation for dogs of all shapes and sizes. Organic ingredients, rich herb and spice blends, and even different meats make hot dogs a cheap and appealing meal option.
With prices rising steadily for other household staples such as gas and food, people are turning to hot dogs as a means of saving a few dollars at mealtime. Increased supply is putting pressure on manufacturers who are struggling to keep up.
Cars are undoubtedly necessary for everyday life in most cities. However, you won’t be able to drive away in a new car anytime soon. Since the onset of the global shutdown in early 2020, there has been a severe shortage of cars available.
Several companies have temporarily halted the production of their cars due to the fact that an essential semiconductor chip needed for assembly is not shipping out. This has naturally led to cars being quite expensive for those that can get their hands on one.
Like having that necessary bowl of cereal to start your day off right, having a comfy couch to plop down on after a long day is equally important. While needing a new sofa may not be up there when it comes to emergency items, a place to relax has never been more vital.
Supply chain issues have prevented much foreign-made furniture from getting to American shores. It’s likely that additional time and money spent on home improvements have caused demand that exceeds supply. Unless you buy used models on furniture showroom floors, you’re likely to put an order in and then wait months to get your favorite pieces.
A staggering 1 billion people across the globe drink coffee daily. In the U.S. alone, nearly 400 million cups of coffee are consumed every day. Revealing this next piece of information may just incite a worldwide riot.
Despite a massive crop yield in our southern neighbor, Brazil, coffee is indeed in short supply. An increase in international shipping rates has led to less cargo space for “non-essential” items such as coffee.
Fewer things are more relaxing than cracking open a nice cold soda after a long work day. Even with alternative options available, soft drinks are the beverage of choice for many Americans, with the average U.S. citizen chugging nearly 40 gallons of soda in 2022.
Like many of the other household favorites on this list, 2021 and 2022 had people experiencing real shortages of their favorite soda brands. Aside for a depleted aluminum supply the United States was facing, areas of the Philippines saw a soft drink scarcity when expected sugar production fell 200,000 tons short.
Nothing says picnic better than hot dogs and ketchup. As the demand for a cheap meal like hot dogs has gone up, so has ketchup, specifically the small convenience packets commonly found at fast-food restaurants across the country.
Although Heinz, a leading producer of ketchup, has increased its production of these pint-sized packets by nearly 25 percent, they cannot keep up with customer demand. You’re better off buying in bulk at three of four containers at a time next time you hit Costco.
New shopping habits after the pandemic sent millions of customers to their computers and smartphones as we learned how to buy online. Amazon and other web retail giants now easily dominate our purchasing habits.
Because of an increased need to ship goods across the world, shipping containers are becoming harder and harder to find. Preppers who wish to use them for bug-out shelters may have to look elsewhere for protection.
2021 brought a cyberattack on Schreiber Foods, which forced the plant had to shut down for several days. People reported seeing less and less cream cheese on shelves, as Schreiber is known to be one of the largest cream cheese manufacturers in the country.
Coupled with both labor shortages and supply chain issues, the coveted schmear is still hard to find in some areas. While it’s not necessarily an item you can’t live without, being forced to find an alternative to put on your bagel is far from ideal.
There’s nothing quite as inviting as the warm, comforting smell of sizzling bacon in the morning. It’s equally as impressive for any meal, though a recent increase in outdoor gatherings has caused demand to skyrocket.
Due to the large increase of people buying bacon to supplement protein needs and satisfy keto cravings, stores have been attempting to rise to the challenge and keep the popular breakfast food on store shelves.
Bulk buying became a very popular activity in the last half of 2020, with people buying sodas, beer, and sparkling water in palettes, not packages. An increase in purchasing led to a frenzied rush to keep up with public thirst.
The cost of aluminum soared at this time, unfortunately, leading soft drink producers to try to pass off additional manufacturing costs to their thirsty consumers. We expect to see a decrease in the number of cans on the shelves, so stock up now.
Regardless of whether you are searching for Hershey’s, Godiva, or Lindt, the search for the perfect blend of creamy and sweet is becoming increasingly more difficult. Chocolate has served us well for decades, but we may now have to find a substitute for our favorite sweet.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, millions of acres of cacao plants have been irreparably damaged by environmental pollution. It is theorized that cacao plants could be gone by 2050.
Millions of Americans are cursing our current administration every time we fill up at the pump. It is not uncommon for a midsize sedan to take nearly $100 in gas every time we fill up, making it more difficult to justify small trips to the store.
Don’t be surprised when you suddenly see a dip in bicycle inventory at your favorite super retailer. People who once never considered “manual” transportation are now jumping on their own two wheels and experiencing newfound freedom.
With the number of toy stores across the country closing their doors permanently as of 2020, it has become more challenging to find the perfect imaginative play tool to keep your kids occupied and entertained.
Major toy company executives encourage consumers who want particular toys to “not delay” when purchasing. Either get to your favorite retailer right away upon release or consider looking for them online for those important childhood “tools”.
One obscure item that is hard for builders and homeowners to find right now is the garage door. With demand so high for this item, even contractors have to pay outrageous prices to obtain doors for their customers.
The New York Times reports that “the home building industry is having the most difficult time in decades meeting demand.” If you have a garage door, make sure yours is in good working order to prevent supply chain issues.
A movement to leave urban areas is sweeping the globe, with many seeking solace and shelter in the shade of suburban trees and outlying areas. New York and San Francisco in particular have seen a sharp decline in residency since 2020.
Housing prices continue to skyrocket at the same time that homes become less available in these desired areas. If you must leave your urban areas, consider purchasing an RV and setting off on a grand adventure instead.
The beginning of 2020’s lockdown hurt rental car companies, as no one was traveling anywhere unless absolutely necessary. Many businesses, in an attempt to cut costs, sold off portions of their inventory to make ends meet.
The move may have been a short-term solution to the financial crisis, but now it is biting them back once more. Lessening restrictions on travel make it more difficult to find the rental car needed to take you from place to place.
Pandemic entertainment brought out the inner gamer in all of us. More people are purchasing the latest, greatest gaming consoles introduced to the market. Gaming companies are taking advantage of this increased demand by creating hype around their products.
While some patrons are more than happy to put their name on a waitlist in anticipation of the best new product, others are growing frustrated with the lack of products on store shelves and turning to old Nintendo systems for comfort.
Increased connectivity via technology is something that we have come to expect. Along with advancements in communication come devices to help improve the way we relate to and see the world.
Laptops, iPhones, iPads, and televisions are hot ticket items right now, with consumers clamoring for the latest upgrades and models to stay relevant. Even with all of the high-tech offerings, we somehow cannot supersede a waitlist.
Not only did the supply chain fiasco mess with bicycle transportation, but it is also tinkering around with the motorized kind as well. Current fuel prices are causing many to seek alternative and more affordable means of transportation.
Unfortunately, this means that motorcycle demand is high, and supply may be running low due to a shortage of aftermarket and repair parts. This low inventory is likely to last through the end of 2022 and into 2023.
Reuters recently reported that Brazil has been diverting most of its sugarcane crop to the ethanol industry. This move was in response to increasing energy prices as of 2022, and the spike is not likely to correct itself anytime soon.
How does this affect you? Despite ethanol’s temporary relief from the energy crisis, we are not likely to find as many sweet treats lining the shelves. If you have a mad sweet tooth that drives your purchasing decisions, you might consider switching to honey.
With nearly 60 percent of all garlic imported from China to the United States, things are looking bleak for garlic lovers. This herb, widely used in all types of cuisine to enhance flavor and improve nutritional value, is soon to be scarce.
Shipping containers and plans for international trade have slowed and even stopped in some places, prompting suppliers to bump up their prices by as much as 30 percent. What savory flavor enhancement will we find to replace something so popular?
If you’ve been asked at a store or restaurant for exact change, you’re not alone. A national coin shortage is being experienced due to safety measures implemented during the pandemic. U.S. Mint employees have slowed production of all U.S. coined currency.
Another reason we are seeing less circulation of coins is due to the fact that people have not been spending physical money in recent years, so not enough remains in circulation. Need an extra quarter? Try searching your couch cushions for some long-lost dough.
As of January 2022, the American Red Cross reported that the United States is facing the worst blood shortage crisis in over a decade due to a decrease in blood drives. This isn’t the only issue that the Red Cross faces in its life-saving operations.
Staffing shortages, a lack of interest in volunteering, and general apathy toward the organization itself have caused many branches of the Red Cross to shut down across the nation. The organization is attempting to partner with high-profile organizations just to garner additional support.
Recliner sales have been lagging in recent years, leading to massive blowout sales in furniture stores as they hope to turn over their old merchandise. Past buying habits are now biting furniture dealers in the behind as customers are clamoring for comfy chairs.
With backorders ranging anywhere from five months to two years, turning over your decor is no easy task. Get ready to place some folding chairs down as you await the perfect piece to enhance your new family room look.
It is said that computer chips make the world go ‘round, whether it’s the chips that power our phones or the ones in our cars, they are an integral part of our lives. What happens now that the market is running dangerously low on chips?
No need to fear the worst. The chip shortage has actually caused us to be more innovative in our design concepts. The automobile industry has removed or revamped some tech features we love in our cars, proving that we can think outside the box.
We don’t normally think of chlorine as a critical element until a shortage threatens drinking water pool trips, and cleaning supplies. After Hurricane Laura hit land in 2020 and destroyed a BioLab chemical plant, we became painfully aware of chlorine’s importance.
After the destruction of the BioLab, prices for this hot commodity went straight through the roof. The chlorine shortage impacted businesses, utilities, and private citizens wishing to keep their pools sparkling clean. We have not yet seen prices go down.