That figure increased another 9 percentage points in just three weeks in April and is now at 40%, statistics show. In six states — Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Missouri, Texas and Tennessee — more than half of infant formula sold out in the week beginning April 24, Datasembly reported.
And though seven states As of early April, between 40 and 50% of infant formula was out of stock, with 26 states currently experiencing supply difficulties.
“This issue is exacerbated by supply chain issues, product recalls and historical inflation,” said Datasembly CEO Ben Reich. “Unfortunately, given the unprecedented volatility in this category, we expect infant formula to continue to be one of the hardest hit products in the market.”
CVS and Walgreens have confirmed that they are limiting customers nationwide to three toddler and infant formulas per transaction. “We continue to work diligently with our supply partners to best serve customer needs,” Walgreens said in a statement to CNN Business.
A Target spokesperson confirmed that the retailer has limited purchases of infant formula to four units per customer when shopping online. The company said there is no limit to the number of units that can be purchased in person at Target stores.
Walmart did not immediately respond to CNN Business’s request for comment.
The shortfall is exacerbated by the FDA closing Abbott Nutrition’s facility in Sturgis, Michigan. Abbott is a major manufacturer of infant formula.
Abbott said the former employee was fired due to “serious violations of Abbott’s food safety policy” and that it is investigating further allegations.
“After his termination, the former employee, through his attorney, brought ever-changing, new and escalating allegations to multiple channels,” an Abbott spokesman said in a statement.
An Abbott spokesperson also said that all products tested for Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella were negative and that no Salmonella was found at the Sturgis facility during the investigation.
“Cronobacter sakazakii, which was found in environmental testing during the investigation, was found in non-product contact areas at our Sturgis facility and was not associated with the two available patient samples or any other known childhood disease,” the representative said.
Abbott told CNN in a statement on Saturday he is working closely with the FDA to reopen his Michigan plant.
“We are continuing to work on corrective actions and will be taking additional actions as we work to resolve issues related to the recent recall. In the meantime, we are working to increase our supply of infant formula by prioritizing infant formula production at our facilities that supply the US market,” Abbott said in a statement to CNN Business.