Largest US Food Distributor Having Trouble Keeping Shelves Stocked; Price Shock Imminent

One of the defining features of the early phases of the covid pandemic, when public fear was rampant and when few wanted to take chances that supply chains would remain viable, is that for a brief period US supermarkets resembled those of the USSR circa the late 1980s: many items were in short supply, and some – notably toilet paper, clorox, and perishables such as milk – were out of stock for weeks.

Fast forward to today when fears about the Delta strain are being fanned by the liberal media, the US may be facing a similar shortage of key products… only this time for a very different reason: not a surge in demand, but rather a drop in supply.

According to Bloomberg, some of the largest U.S. food distributors are “reporting difficulties in fulfilling orders as a lack of workers weighs on the supply chain.” Take distribution giant Sysco, North America’s largest wholesale food distributor, which is turning away customers in some areas where demand is exceeding capacity.

Worse, food inflation is about to soar: the company said prices for key goods such as chicken, pork and paper products for takeout packaging are climbing amid tight supplies. In particular, production has slowed for high-demand, labor-intensive cuts like bacon, ribs, wings and tenders, Sysco said. And if intermediate and final wholesale prices are “rising”, just wait until they emerge on the consumer side.

The culprit for the coming price shock? Biden’s catastrophic stimmies and universal basic income which has unleashed havoc on the US job market and led to historic labor shortages:

“There are certain areas across the country that are more challenged by the labor shortage and our volume of orders is regularly exceeding our capacity,” Sysco Chief Executive Officer Kevin Hourican said in a letter to clients earlier this month. “This has, unfortunately, led to service disruptions for some of our customers.”

Hourican’s troubling observations were confirmed by an analysis from DecaData, which tracks retailer transactions with shoppers and manufacturers; it showed that retailers are bumping up against manufacturer capacity as they stockpile ahead of the holiday season. In July, the incidence of suppliers limiting or putting a cap on orders from customers was more than double what it was in January, its data show. – READ MORE

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