The Real Reason Grocery Stores May Be Facing Shortages Once Again

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many changes to the landscape of grocery stores. From increased cleaning and senior hours to price surges and shortages, grocery stores have struggled to deliver products and keep up with the ever-changing virus. Earlier this summer, shortages at retailers like Costco were happening due to slower delivery times and slowed, socially-distanced staff.

Even within the last month, grocery stores were projected to continue to have increased prices on many food items and more shortages, according to Spectrum Local News. Apparently, over the past year, food prices have increased by more than 5%, which is the largest spur of inflation to occur since 2008. While customers might go to their local grocery stores only to find the shelves empty of some necessary items, there are some items you can go ahead and count out. People have been stocking up on select popular items, and they're quickly disappearing for the moment.

This is why shortages are happening now

Eat This, Not That compiled a list of all the foods, drinks, and other items that are flying off the shelves as the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread and become the dominant strain (via NBC News). Among the items that people are stocking up on are some of the things you likely remember being hard to find last year. The good news is that toilet paper is not one of them.

Water of all kinds, such as bottled or water packaged in jugs, has been the first item to run short. In fact, Costco is already limited the number of cases of water customers can buy. Pre-cooked or prepared meals are another favorite buy that is quickly going.

Apart from food and drinks, people are preparing to contend with the Delta variant by buying up familiar items that were popular at the height of the pandemic. Those items include zinc vitamins, cold medicine, and disinfectant wipes. So if you're running low on any of these items, you might want to consider picking up a few to have on hand.