Stock on grocery store shelves slowly returning to normal

Cleaning supplies still scarce and other products also limited

Mike Baggerman
July 06, 2020 - 3:00 am

    BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) – Grocery store owners and wholesale distributors are optimistic that the worst is behind them regarding the grocery supply chain, though they still face challenges to this day as the pandemic continues.

    Many grocery stores faced shortages in meats back in April and May. In July, that’s not so much of an issue anymore.

    “Things are coming more back to normal,” Mark Strub, owner of Ford Brothers Wholesale Meats in West Valley, said. “When the restaurants opened, some feared it would put a bigger strain on what was out there. The pace that we’re moving at, industries have been able to keep up. We’re seeing some of those select items that were more trimmed coming back to us.”

    Strub said slaughterhouses are mostly back up to 100 percent. For now, their main concern is an outbreak occurring at a major slaughterhouse that could impact the supply chain.

    Still, there are some shortages at grocery stores. Market in the Square owner Brian Kusmierski said they never had an issue with meat since they purchased enough early on. However, they are still short on cleaning supplies and items from private labels.

    “The manufacturers of these products are having trouble getting containers to actually pack the product in,” Kusmierski said. “One of the major beverage companies told us they will not be supporting any ads involving ads because they cannot get the aluminum cans that the beverage comes in, so that’s going to be in short supply so we can’t advertise those types of things.”

    Kusmierski assumed that cleaning supplies are following the same struggles of not meeting the demand by customers. He guessed that cleaning supplies won’t get back to normal until the fall or early winter.

    “I’m thinking that as manufacturers, as soon as the packing materials come back into stock, they will go back to full force,” Kusmierski said. “You had the toilet paper companies that were out of stock for a long period of time, then they were working 24/7 producing toilet paper so we’re back in stock. It may not be the same variety as before the pandemic.”

    Kusmierski said supplies are slowly getting back to its levels pre-pandemic.

    “We got a little ways to get yet,” he said.  

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