Is anyone else seeing a meat shortage?
This is my first time posting on the forum where I’m still a newbie at prepping and feel like I should listen more than talk at this point.
However, I haven’t seen anyone else mention about meat or grocery shortages, and I wanted to report what I saw at Kroger tonight in middle Georgia. There was literally no chicken left of any description – even the organic section was wiped out.
The beef and pork sections had some cuts available, but there were definite gaps where certain items had been cleared.
I didn’t think to check the rest of the store to see what else might be missing. Is anyone else witnessing these types of shortages? Or seeing any panic buying?
RedneckContributor - January 10, 2022
I find with Kroger, it is hit or miss. I think their main issue is distribution and lack of employees. I was there today at one in north Mississippi, and they had plenty of meat. They were very lacking with cheeses. I also note they don’t have near enough people working checkout… as usual. Whenever I find they are out of things, I can go down the road to a much smaller, local grocery and they have every checkout manned & the store fully stocked.
Thanks for posting and never be afraid of stating your opinion or asking questions. The only dumb question is the one not asked. This site is very safe… as opposed to some others I’ve been on.
Kira - January 10, 2022
Seconded! Our grocery store (not a Kroger) is missing most meat due to staffing issues rather than true supply issues. We’re trying out some new recipes and maybe a new grocery store.
Welcome to the forum, Donna! I’m biased, but you won’t find a more welcoming prepping forum anywhere 🙂
Gideon ParkerStaff - January 10, 2022
Welcome to the forum! Everyone has something to contribute so please don’t just listen. Talk, pitch in, ask whatever question, and have fun!
Luckily there were no meat shortages at my Kroger last time I was there. The bread section however was very picked over.
I find that going early in the day is better than later at night to catch things in stock. Like Redneck says, I think it mostly is a distribution problem on certain items. My bread section will probably be well stocked next time I go and something else will probably be out. Try and plan ahead a couple weeks with your shopping and buy a bit extra.
Hope you don’t mind me updating the title of this post to be a bit more descriptive.
Mr. Mark - January 11, 2022
I haven’t seen the very bare shelves like in Gideon’s post, but bare spots occur and at Walmart and Kroger it is hit and miss on a daily basis. The name brand stuff gets bought up quickly. Walmart rarely runs out of their store brand which I attribute to quality, but I also wonder if they carry more of their own brand and less of major brands on purpose (more profit from their own products?).
Gideon’s advise is good: Shop early if you can. My wife switched from shopping in the evening to shopping early in the day and has had better success completing her list. She still has trouble every week finding this or that, but I work close to both stores so I can stop any time to get what she couldn’t. I’ll often go at lunch time since people seem to rush the stores between 4:00 and 6:00 PM.
My wife also tells me that the stores are consistently out of specific items. She highlights these on her list and buys a little extra when she does find them.
We both notice that there are hoarders. I don’t call them panic buyers because the shelves aren’t that bare, but we do see people who will buy all of one product almost as soon as it’s stocked. TP, bread, hamburger, bologna and any major brand soft drink and vitamin water top the list. I have literally seen a shopper with a full to the brim shopping cart of nothing but hamburger!
On the positive side, I haven’t seen a shortage of my favorite beer yet.!
liebrecht - January 12, 2022
A hoarder is somebody that is buying more of something than * you* think they need? Some people buy on sale only so take advantage of a good price. Some other people do not live by just buying what they need THIS week. They put by for later. Today, whole chickens are on sale. So my cart will be full. You will not see or know that these chickens are for several families that are being hard hit by prices. On sale, I can gift these to families that need the extra meat. Like I gifted turkeys on sale to a number of people for the holidays. You have no idea where the hamburger in that cart was going. Maybe that was a big family and all they could afford was burger. I use a LOT of flour so I bought flour when it was on the shelves so I have it put by for winter. The cashiers at “my” stores know when my cart has a certain item, it is a GOOD price. When there are shortages, I do not need to restock and make it worse for other people.
Mr. Mark - January 12, 2022
You make a good point, Liebrecht. I should not judge under today’s circumstances. Thank you for pointing this out to me.
liebrecht - January 12, 2022
Thank you. I shop when the kids have golf after careful study of the sale ads that come out Tues afternoon. The people I got the chickens for are unable to shop except on weekends and even then, may not have the time to search for the best prices. One sale chicken makes a couple of meals for their families per week. Spring, summer and fall, I put up our foods for winter and thus can share our blessings during the year. I didn’t “need” 8 turkeys 29c/# on sale but a single mom with a kid……a firefighter that had a triple bypass and can’t work…..a working mom that has a family and no extra $$…..they had a nice big turkey and they cost me about $6 each. Plus I have 3 teen boys myself so……an amazing amount of food is just required for them!
Carlotta SusannaStaff - January 11, 2022
Yes! My local King Soopers in CO was totally out of organic chicken, too! There was literally only one pack of breasts left. First time ever since the start of the pandemic that I’ve seen that. The rest of the meats seemed fine, though. But have not checked other groceries stores.
Barb LeeContributor - January 11, 2022
We do most of our shopping at a Winco store which can, hands down, beat the other stores price-wise, and seems to have almost been exempt from shortages of anything. However the meat counter has recently been variable. There are never any “holes” in the shelves or refrigerators, but there have been odd cuts, and this week, the beef prices were quite high. Earlier, there were no whole chickens but lots of different pieces. We went to an Albertson’s store on Monday to take advantage of a very good sale on sirloin, which they actually had, but there were many gaps in the refrigerators, as well as all over the store. I was pretty surprised, as Winco has me lulled into thinking shortages don’t affect us!
Alicia - January 12, 2022
Welcome Donna! I’ve not seen meat shortages recently in my area of Los Angeles. In the last year, I have seen cycling outages of many items: paper goods, cooking oils, eggs. I’ve also seen the trick of filling in shelf gaps with other products. I’m seeing it on the news as I type though – being blamed on delivery delays, labor shortages and even recent storms.
Bill Masen - January 12, 2022
A few shortages over here like nitrate free bacon, Chicken breasts, but its the prices of main foods thats going up, along with our energy costs that is causing concern here.
Josh CentersContributor - January 14, 2022
I see bare shelves and empty spots here and there. The one currently vexing me is chicken liver. I can’t buy it anywhere! (I’m probably the only person sad about that.)
Here’s a pic from a recent trip to Piggly Wiggly.
Alicia - January 15, 2022
You possibly aren’t the only person sad about chicken livers, but possibly would be for beef liver. 🙂 I could stomach the KFC livers (do you recall when that was an option?), but couldn’t stand to be even near the house when my mother cooked that. I considered it a stench.
Josh CentersContributor - January 17, 2022
We finally found some tubs of chicken liver! I do remember KFC selling chicken liver. I guess they don’t anymore? I have a ton of beef liver from the half cow we purchased last summer, so I’ve been learning to like it. I cut it into small chunks, soak it in milk, season with Lowry’s, and cook with minced onion and bacon. It’s pretty good.
RedneckContributor - January 17, 2022
Well hell, my old work boots would taste good with that recipe. Doesn’t mean I’m gonna eat my boots… or nasty liver. 🙂
Alicia - January 17, 2022
Redneck, I think I’d still take your boots over liver. 🙂 Starving makes ones taste change though.
Josh, since I’ve learned of my gluten issues, I’ve not stepped foot in a KFC in over a decade.
lonewolf - January 16, 2022
I havent bought store sold meat for at least 12 years, I buy direct from the farm, its delivered to the door by a very polite gentleman who is part of the family who owns the farm.
its all good quality meat, much better quality than in the shops, and its reasonably priced.
Josh CentersContributor - January 17, 2022
The best option if it’s available to you.
Pops - January 19, 2022
In much of the modern world meat “processing” is monopolized by large packers hiring the cheapest labor and concentrating operations is a few massive plants—because most customers want the cheapest price no matter what and that’s the way to do it cheap. In this case a pandemic has made those meat factories where people stand elbow to elbow a daily supers-preader event. Ranchers aren’t getting rich I guarantee. The corporations however are raking it in even as the chillers are half empty.
So what to do?
Patronize a local butcher. Go right to the small independent packing house and buy a month or 6 worth. Get a $200 freezer maybe. Not sure but you will probably come out better off financially, likely better meat, even custom cut.
But more important, you will be supporting small local businesses and growers that should be a cornerstone of your local resilience plan. You can’t hoard a lifetime of food but you can help build a local food network that will feed you for life.
If I may preach a bit, the increasing interest in prepping has a lot to do with the increasing feelings of disconnect and loss of control as everything in our daily lives is trucked in from some unknown somewhere. EVERYTHING comes from somewhere else. I guarantee if you stop shopping at the super and get to know local growers you will feel better about your world.
iowa guy - January 23, 2022
Well said ! My message would be similar .
Cat L - January 19, 2022
Yes to the meat shortages (beef in particular), and sometimes the shelves with eggs are totally empty, also spices and bar soap seem to be in short supply in some stores right now. I live in BC Canada though so I’m not sure if this is left over from supply chain disruptions from flooding a couple months ago and/or other issues (such as Canada’s vaccine mandate for truckers).
iowa guy - January 23, 2022
My area is pretty rural, any supermarket shortages seem to be temporary currently.
One of the nice things about my area is the development of several farmers and processors entering the retail meat sales space. Or I could simply ask one of my neighbors when they would have an animal available for butchering. Processors here are so backlogged that farmers might have to wait several months to deliver an animal though. We’re OK for supply in the freezer, but will add when the budget allows .
GB - January 23, 2022
Chicken is pretty short supply here and the other meats are slowly dwindling. Our issue is a lack of workers in the meat processing facilities due to Covid. They get hit pretty hard with staff on sick leave and coupled with moderate panic buying regardless of purchasing limits, that means empty shelves in the supermarket where the meat used to be. This has been going for about three weeks now.
An interesting thing I noted was the free range and organic chicken sold out first at my supermarket, then the RSPCA approved. Now, even the battery stuff is gone.
Momof6 - January 23, 2022
We’re in a rural part of Ohio and not seeing any meat shortages
pnwkraken - January 23, 2022
I’m in the PNW…I’ve noticed a lot of shelves are empty of various items but then you go to the store across the street & they have plenty of that same item but are missing other things. Dairy cases & frozen breakfast items are pretty bare in most stores here & have been since the end of 2020. As far as meat goes the one thing I’ve seen out of stock in almost every store here is bacon. For months. Beef seems to be fine. Fresh chicken or any freezer item made with chicken is hit & miss depending on the store.
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