The big baby formula shortage

By Scoop
May 16, 2022 · less than 3 min read

US brands have been slammed with short and long-term supply problems, leaving parents scrambling and stores rationing.   

Oooooh, baby… 

We don’t want to kick your week off on a downer. But along with full-scale war in Ukraine, an ongoing global pandemic, a cost-of-living crisis, and a big crypto crash… Now, we’re struggling to feed babies here in the US. Happy Monday.  

Due to various issues with some of the national suppliers, baby formula is currently seeing a shortage the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades. The main source of the issue is said to be down to a contamination problem at an Abbott plant, which produces huge quantities of various formula brands including Similac. The plant was shut down in February – and there’s still no sign of it opening its doors again. 

A losing formula  

Alongside the shutdown of the Abbott factory, Covid-related supply problems have stock levels pitifully low, and it’s starting to spook investors. Only a few weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that as much as 40% of the most popular baby formula brands were out of stock. Baby, it seems, is in a corner.  

So, what’s the answer? A baby formula shortage is serious business, and looks to be a serious failure of the US health system. The FDA is rushing to resolve the issues of the Abbott plant, with talks that it could be back up and running within the next two weeks. But when moves are reactive rather than proactive, problems take longer to solve – and we can expect the shortage to remain an issue across the US for several months more, at least.    

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