These Foods May Be Difficult To Buy This Fall Due To COVID-19

We remember pre-pandemic and that slight annoyance felt when we saw that a product on our grocery list was sold out at the store. Then spring came and COVID-19 entered our lives, changing our grocery lists and shopping habits for the unforeseeable future. As we watched the hoarding culture intensify with equal parts amusement and uncertainty, we began to see all the empty shelves — putting the irritation of that one sold-out product into perspective. This fall, it may be difficult to find all food items on our grocery lists. Luckily, we are more prepared this time around with the months of "pandemic life experience" on our resumes.

Not only are we more prepared, but so are our grocers. Associated Food Stores, a cooperative for independently-owned grocery stores are learning from the past. Darin Peirce, vice president of operations, states, "We will never again operate our business as unprepared for something like this" (via Business Insider). Stores are aware of possible food shortages and are preparing for this by assembling "pandemic pallets." The goods being gathered for the wooden storage structures are the ones considered to be in high demand around the holiday season.

Flour will be in short supply due to COVID-19

It's nice to know some businesses are aware, and are more prepared for the future. But what can we as customers do? To start, having the knowledge of what there may be a shortage of can surely lessen our stress and help us in preparation for the colder months. And speaking of stress reducers, we can't think of anything better than comforting baked goods. In order to have these treats readily available, we need baking supplies. Baking made a comeback during quarantine, per CNN. And folks will most likely want to put their new-found baking skills to the test in the coming months. It is not that the country has a shortage of wheat, it is simply that the demand is outpacing the inventory. Carey Underwood, who is director of mission-driven partnerships and programs at King Arthur Flour, believes shoppers will continue to see in-and-out supply of flour for a while.

Comfort foods will be limited this fall, and some may disappear

If a flour shortage has delayed your baking, do not rely heavily on your favorite snacks as a tasty, stress-relieving, plan B. Snack manufacturers are also dealing with pandemic triggered cutbacks. Frito-Lay has temporarily put a pause on the production of Fritos Scoops Spicy Jalapeno (via Twitter). The company has also stopped producing it's low-sodium potato chips Lightly Salted Lays. While some favorites are expected to return, CEO Steven Williams predicts 3 to 5 percent of their products will not be returning after the pandemic (via Eat This, Not That).

Kraft Heinz products such as Oscar Mayer lunch meat, Cool Whip, and Velveeta lines are projected to be in danger of production cuts. The company has made the decision to retire products that are less profitable ,and according to recent sales, these products could be some of the first to go.

Items that have a longer shelf life may be worth stocking up on now before it's too late. The company in charge of Green Giant canned and frozen vegetables, B&G Foods, is struggling with their inventory. The business claims to have rushed through their stock in the spring, and hasn't been able to prepare for a second wave because of shutdowns (via The Wall Street Journal).

Now that we've done our research and know of the possible shortages, we hope our grocery shopping can continue to have  a more leisurely, less mad-dash, vibe in the coming months.