Significant Shortages of Baby Formula Reported in the United States

In 24 U.S. states, 30 percent of formula was out of stock as of mid-March

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FRIDAY, April 8, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Supply chain problems are causing significant shortages of baby formula in the United States, and some retailers are now limiting how much people can buy at one time.

About three-quarters of U.S. babies receive formula within their first six months, but it is getting more difficult to find. About 29 percent of the top-selling baby formula products were out of stock at more than 11,000 monitored stores as of the week of March 13 compared with 11 percent in November, according to an analysis by Datasembly, CBS News reported.

"This is a shocking number that you don't see for other categories," Ben Reich, CEO of Datasembly, told CBS MoneyWatch. "We've been tracking it over time and it's going up dramatically. We see this category is being affected by economic conditions more dramatically than others."

In 24 U.S. states, 30 percent of formula was out of stock as of mid-March, but other states had even more severe shortages, according to Datasembly. Rates were 54 percent in Minnesota and at least 40 percent in Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, North and South Dakota, Rhode Island, and Texas, CBS News reported.

During the first seven months of 2021, between 2 and 8 percent of baby formula products were out of stock. The supply chain problems affecting the supply of baby formula include difficulties getting key ingredients, worker shortages, and packaging issues, according to CBS News. In addition, there was a major recall of baby formula earlier this year.

Manufacturers are boosting production to meet the demand for baby formula, according to a recent statement posted on the Infant Nutrition Council of America website. The council also advised parents to keep a 10-day to two-week supply of formula at home but urged them not to stockpile it, CBS News reported.

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