‘I’m puzzled’ | Prices up, shelves empty as groceries remain in short supply

Empty Shelves, Higher Prices at Grocery Stores
Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 9:15 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/WYMT) - The supply and demand issues we experienced in 2021 have worsened, because of another factor we can’t control.

“I’m puzzled, you know, I’m just puzzled as to what exactly is going on,” said Robert Haskins, who went grocery shopping Monday morning.

He’s noticed a difference in grocery store inventory and his receipt.

Haskins said, “Practically everything that you go to buy has increased in price.”

He explained his grocery bill has jumped up $30 to $40 more for the same items.

“The fact that we’re having to pay more. I mean those of us who are kind of on a fixed income, it’s not easy,” said Haskins.

It’s harder for him to find some of his favorites, like Raisin Bran, too.

“We don’t know what’s wrong. When we ask them why it’s not coming in, they say it’s because of this inability to get things to the store.”

Thomas Goldsby researches shortages, like this one, for the University of Tennessee. As a supply chain management expert he said every category is getting affected, not just cereal or other products.

“We’ve been pretty hampered by cold weather and snow, but also those tornadoes that struck back in December have limited our ability to meet our needs too,” said Goldsby.

He explained the omicron variant also played a part on the supply and demand side, with fewer workers working and more consumers eating at home to blame.

“If we could just squash this pandemic or get it down to a much more manageable level our supply chains will resume some sense of normalcy.”

What you can do is buy items when you see them available, but don’t panic buy. If one store doesn’t have an item you’re looking for, try another.

The Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association President, Rob Ikard, said it’s been a tough couple of weeks.

But the only solution is to work through the COVID and weather complications.

He hoped to see the end of the supply chain problems, once the pandemic ends.

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