Supermarket shelves go bare as Omicron disrupts US

Some shelves were bare in a grocery store in Fairfax, Virginia on January 13, 2022

As the variant of Omicron for Covid-19 sweeps across the United States, empty supermarket shelves become the latest sign of the pandemic’s ongoing disruption to the country’s supply chains.

“It’s not as bad as Sunday, but there are still a lot of empty shelves, and a lot of products are missing,” Justin Ton, a regular shopper at a large supermarket in suburban Bethesda, Maryland, told AFP.

“Last week for several days in a row, there was nothing, no fruit, no vegetables in this gigantic store and also in all the grocery stores nearby,” Ton said.

Previous waves of Covid-19 affected different parts of the country over a period of time, allowing grocers to adjust their supply chains, said Patrick Benfield, professor of supply chain management at Syracuse University.

On top of the supply chain, there are problems with producing, delivering, and even unloading enough food once it reaches the grocery store.

– ‘A lot of food’ –

Perishable goods in grocery stores are just as likely to run out as fresh produce that can’t be stocked, which is why shelves in some Washington-area stores remained empty after days of recent snow.

The National Grocers Association (NGA), which represents independent players in the food distribution industry, said challenges faced by companies nationwide in finding enough employees are “pressuring critical industries, including the grocery and the food industry in general”.

“While there is a lot of food in the supply chain, we expect consumers to continue to experience sporadic disruptions in certain product categories as we have seen over the past year and a half due to ongoing supply and employment challenges,” NGA said in a statement. E-mail.

Originally Posted as Supermarket shelves go bare as Omicron disrupts US


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