SOUTHERN OREGON, Ore. —Supply chain issues are causing a snag for grocery stores nationwide, and right here at home.
Grocery stores tell us the supply chain struggles come from not having enough staff. Those problems include not having enough materials to pack food, or enough drivers to deliver the food. This all results in less food on the shelves when you go shopping.
Shelves not completely stocked, delays on products, and higher prices. Those are all things you might run into grocery shopping locally.
Sherm’s has two stores here in the Rogue Valley, Sherm’s Thunderbird Market, and Food 4 Less. General Manager, Bob Ames says its stores are running into obstacles.
“It’s the lack of labor at all points along the chain, the wholesaler that we buy from, they’re struggling with help, the direct vendors, they don’t have enough help to make the product they could sell if they had it,” said Ames.
Ames says your experience shopping may look a little different, with not as many options as you’re used to. Some products, Ames says are particularly tough to get, ranging from water to Lunchables, and vanilla wafers. He says you may need to choose alternate products or wait longer for the brands you want.
“They have their very definite favorite flavors and just really wanting to know when it’s coming back in, or when we can get this certain flavor of Dr. Pepper, we just tell them we’re working with the bottlers and vendors to get it in as best we can,” said Ames.
Despite the challenges and Thanksgiving around the corner, Ames says he feels good about the amount of products available.
A regional spokesperson with Albertsons-Safeway says something similar. She says some item availability might be, “constrained as we near the holiday, but stores are working to find a solution.”
“Locally we have seen items that we have ordered, that we will have to accept a substitute for it because local vendors are not getting that product,” says Marcee Champion, Food Programs Director for ACCESS.
ACCESS is the regional food bank for Jackson County. It tells us it’s seeing the trickle-down effect of the impact on our supply chain. Its primary source of food comes from the Oregon Food Bank in Portland.
“They are actually waiting on some food, that can’t get to them because they don’t have drivers to get the food to the Oregon Food Bank which means it doesn’t get to us,” said Champion.
ACCESS says it still gets plenty of product, but Champion expects the issue to continue in the coming months.
“The impact I think we’re going to see is as the cost of food goes up in the fall and winter we are going to see more people in need,” said Champion.
Ames says he has received notifications from companies saying prices are expected to rise between 4 and 8%. Sherm’s tries to stay ahead of the game, by purchasing products ahead of the increases.
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