Duval County

Jacksonville grocery stores experience product shortages similar to rest of the country

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Some of your favorite items may be running low at local grocery stores, if they are in stock at all.

Snacks, sports drinks, juice boxes and other items you buy for the family are among the most in-demand.

The Consumer Brand Association keeps track of supply chain issues.

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At stores like Publix in Jacksonville, you may see a lot of small green signs apologizing to customers for certain items out of stock.

“I’m kind of used to it now because I know the situation. It’s the demand of supply,” local shopper Aysha Jackson said.

Target and Winn Dixie are no different.

“If it’s not at one, we go to another, and some of the store shelves have been empty,” local shopper Byron Harmon said.

The supply chain shortage continues.

On Monday, four stores we visited were running low, if not out of stock, on fruit snacks, cookies, sports drinks, juice and more.

According to the Consumer Brand Association, stores around the country are also low on these products. The association says on its website, “with greater demand and a strained supply chain, out-of-stock percentages are trending higher.”

The IRI CPG supply index is a portfolio that tracks changes in product availability.

To put it into perspective, normal out-of-stock percentages run anywhere from 7-10%.

As of November 7, we found general food items nationwide are 87% in stock, which is in the red, meaning the supply is strained.

When you break it down, snacks are at 84%. Cookies and crackers at 83%.

Beverage items as a whole are 85% stocked. Juice is sitting at 82%. Sports and energy drinks are at 81%.

The Consumer Brands Association put up a list of the “Top Out-of-Stock Categories.”

  1. Refrigerated Baked Goods: 24%
  2. Sports and Energy Drinks: 19%
  3. Juices: 18%
  4. Refrigerated Meals: 17%
  5. Carbonated Beverages: 16%
  6. Frozen Snacks: 16%
  7. Frozen Baked Goods: 16%
  8. Cookies and Crackers: 16%
  9. Water: 16%
  10. Bakery: 16%
  11. Laundry: 15%
  12. Snacks: 15%

Empty shelves in Jacksonville speak to those numbers. Shoppers have to adapt.

“There’s just some things we can buy and get and some things we just adapt and we move on to something else,” Harmon said.

If you’re looking to take your grocery shopping online, Amazon is also running low on some of your favorite brands. It’s slim pickings in person and on the web.

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Those empty shelves turn to higher demand for other food products, which turns into higher prices.

This increase in prices today still stems from the beginning and height of the pandemic.

According to CNN, food and consumer product manufacturers are facing higher costs for labor and other expenses. In turn, they’re raising prices on us.

Natalia Guiterrez is like many shoppers, bracing for high prices at their local grocery stores.

“I bought eggs and chicken and the prices are crazy,” Guiterrez said.

Whether you frequent Publix, Winn Dixie, Walmart, or Target, your favorite brands are raising their prices on everyone.

As shelves empty quickly due to supply chain shortages, what’s left is more expensive.

Most recently, brands like Mondelez and Kraft Heinz announced their plans to charge more. That means things like Oreos and Easy Mac may not be the cheaper option anymore.

That’s just two companies.

Shoppers also see price increases in the meat and produce sections.

“I have seen some of the items go up. I just figured it was availability. I have seen an increase in prices,” local shopper Tammy Atkinson said.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported a 5.4% increase in the consumer price index from September 2020 to September 2021.

The reason why is the more the company pays to create and ship its products, the more the customer will pay for that product.

That’s when shoppers like Atkinson start to pick and choose.

“I’ll either pass it by and ‘yeah, not today’ or I’ll give in, depending on what it is,” Atkinson said.

Choosing between this or that will continue into 2022.

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“Sometimes I’ll switch to the Publix brand or Walmart brand. Sometimes it’s a necessity so I have no other choice. I just need to buy it. So I’m kind of stuck,” Guiterrez said.

Employment is still a major factor in these higher prices. The Consumer Brands Association says there are nearly 900,000 openings across the whole manufacturing sector.

Action News Jax received this statement from Winn Dixie Dewayne Rabon, Senior Vice President & Chief Merchant for Southeastern Grocers:

Like other retailers, our stores aren’t immune to the current supply chain challenges. Our well-experienced supply chain team is updating our stocking plans throughout each day to ensure that popular products such as baby and children’s items are on the shelf. We continue to work closely with our vendor partners and distribution centers to navigate these challenges and operate with precision to deliver shopping experiences our customers can always count on.

We also reached out to Publix for comment and have not heard back.