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Central Texas economist weighs in on factors leading to empty grocery store shelves

Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 7:59 PM CST
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - An economist with Texas A&M Central Texas says a trifecta of factors are leading to empty shelves at local grocery stores, including labor shortages, supply chain issues and inflation.

“There is this production backlog there are transportation issues, there are just not enough people to process the things that are being made or to get them to the grocery stores and even if they make it there are not enough people to stock them on the shelves,” Ankita Singhvi explained.

She says the pharmacy department has been a recent noticeable area particularly plagued by empty shelves, likely because of the Omicron variant and its cold like symptoms.

“The cold and flu aisle is completely empty,” Singhvi said.

She says the demand for over the counter cold and flu medicine is putting a strain on the producers making it hard for them to keep up.

The pasta aisle is another lacking product, Singhvi explained likely due to families cooking at home instead of going out.

“A lot of that people are stocking up on it, I hate to use the word hoarding but people are double buying or buying a lot more than they usually do,” she explained.

She says customers are buying up pasta worried about inflation.

“They would much rather buy it now because maybe there will be lack of availability later or maybe it’ll be higher priced later,” Singhvi said.

She says consumers should refrain from hording products one they become available and adjust their expectations at the grocery store.

Singvhi suggests seeking alternatives to items you have trouble finding, as the trifecta of issues causing the shelves to bare likely won’t end soon.

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