The Real Reason There Might Be A Frozen Pizza Shortage

We are now heading into month two of social distancing and quarantining for many Americans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first month saw shortages of products like cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper caused by a variety of reasons including panic-buying, stockpiling, and shifting the majority of time spent to the home (via USA Today). This month we might see shortages affect something you wouldn't expect. 

Ad Week reports that Americans purchased $275 million worth of frozen pizza during the month of March 2020, which represents a 92 percent increase from the same time last year. Ashley Lind, the director of demand sciences from Conagra Brands (which includes popular frozen pizza brand Celeste Pizza), spoke to the outlet, stating that a lot of customers are currently craving easy, crowd-pleasing comfort foods, which for many is frozen pizza. Fox News compares this uptick to the one seen in previous weeks for toilet paper, and claims that this increase in demand has caused some places to struggle to keep their freezer shelves full. Eat This, Not That! reported that some stores have even had to take preventative measures, claiming that a Chicago area Whole Foods has begun limiting the number of frozen pizzas each customer can purchase to four.

Frozen pizza manufacturers are seeing an increased demand for the food across the country

CNET agrees with Lind, saying that the reasons for this possible pizza shortage are pretty clear, and that pizza is a very popular comfort food. They state that another possible reason for the upcoming frozen pizza shortage is that consumers know frozen pizza has a long shelf life. The Blaze seems to agree as well, joking that shortages of frozen pizza, along with the projected shortages of soda and beer due to CO2 supply issues could mean a major change to American society as we know it.

The Herald News spoke with Schwan's delivery driver Tim Murray about the alleged frozen pizza panic. Last week, Schwan's sold more frozen pizzas than it did during the 2018 Super Bowl. Typically, there is only increased demand for foods in one area at a time, so companies are able to reroute their supply from a less busy market to lessen the impact. However, the demand for frozen pizza increasing all across the United States paired with many factory workers being forced to take time off from sickness has created a shortage for the frozen foods brand.