Baby formula shortage worsens. Here’s what several retail giants are doing in response.
Supply issues and a recall are affecting parents trying to find baby formula on the shelves of retailers, and in some areas of the nation -- nearly 40% of formula is out of stock.
There are a lot of concerns among parents and expecting parents about the shortages, which have ramped up since the beginning of the year. Stores are even limiting the amount of formula customers can buy.
If you buy formula online from Target, the retailer is limiting purchases to just four units per customer. Other stores such as CVS and Walgreens are limiting in store transactions to just three units per customer.
Shortages began last year, according to data from Datasembly. The problems worsened in the second half of 2021 when the out of stock rate hit 31%, and since April, the rate has increased to 40%.
The reason? Supply chain issues, historic inflation and a recall when in February, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recalled three brands of powdered baby formulas made by Abbott Nutrition.
“You don't know what proteins are going in, what vitamins are going in and how much of each when babies are young and newborns,” says registered nurse Kelly Walsh. “That is the most essential time for their brain to develop and their…whole body.”
Doctors and nurses at Children's Health Center say parents should not dilute formula with water or try to make their own at home. There's no signs of this shortage easing any time soon.
“We are trying to give parents as many samples as we can get it's hard for us to even get the samples from our reps as well,” says Krysten Condus, with Children's Health Center.
The doctors say the formulas specific for baby food allergies and special needs are the hardest to find. One good piece of advice is to go on your local social media community groups to see what stores in your region may have the brand and type of formula you are looking for.