Baby Formula Shortage Is Still an Issue Despite Some Improvements

The baby formula shortage grabbed headlines in May and June. Is there still a baby formula shortage? The issues are ongoing despite the lack of reporting on the shortage.

Anuradha Garg - Author

Sep. 19 2022, Updated 2:42 p.m. ET

A baby drinking from a bottle
Source: Unsplash

U.S. and global consumers have faced shortages over the last few years on a range of goods and services. Among all the shortages, the baby formula shortage has probably rattled everyday consumers the most. The shortage has been ongoing for months. Is there still a baby formula shortage?

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The baby formula shortage is still ongoing despite a lack on news headlines.

Since you might not have seen many eye-grabbing headlines regarding the baby formula shortage lately, we regret to inform you that it's still an issue. The shortages that many families faced in May and June are still ongoing. Thankfully, the Biden administration has been working to address the issue by flying millions of formula canisters to the U.S. from across the world.

A baby formula shipment from Australia
Source: Getty Images
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On Sept. 7 and 16, the Biden administration's initiative, Operation Fly Formula, conducted its 23rd mission, resulting in the U.S. receiving "4.9 million 8-ounce bottles of Bellamy's Organic Infant Formula" from Australia, reported Fox News. The formula first arrived in Texas and was then scheduled to be distributed to U.S. retailers.

Over the course of the 23 missions that were carried out, the Biden administration has managed to get "90 million 8-ounce bottles of formula" to the U.S.

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Despite Biden's efforts, baby formula availability is still low.

At the beginning of July, the availability of formula in stores in the U.S. hit the lowest level this year, according to the market research firm IRI. The firm reported that 28.3 percent of powdered baby formula products were out of stock at U.S. stores for the week ending July 10 — a higher percentage than the 23.7 percent reported out of stock for the week ending May 22.

While some consumers have noticed a slight improvement since then, the shortage is still noteworthy. A mom in Louisiana shared with Fox & Friends First that the baby formula shortage remains a large issue for her and the other moms she knows.

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The mom of premature twins told the news outlet that she still has trouble finding the formula she needs. She also said her babies have even gotten sick because "not every baby can have a different substitute for a different formula."

The frustrated mom told Fox News she's "infuriated" because she feels like "no one in charge cares about how mothers like herself can feed their babies."

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baby formula shortage update
Source: Getty Images


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Lost production led to an additional baby formula shortage.

Apart from the ongoing supply-chain issues, the baby formula shortage only grew worse after Abbott's Michigan formula plant was required to shut down in February and had to delay its June reopening to July due to flooding. By the time July 1 came, the company had lost weeks of production it had anticipated completing.

The U.S. is addressing concerns to correct the baby formula shortage in the long term.

Looking at the bigger picture, the problem started because the U.S. relies on baby formula, a market that's dominated by two huge firms. If something happens to a major manufacturing facility at one of these companies, the whole country suffers.

Now, authorities are working to address this issue. On July 15, 2022, the House passed a bipartisan bill that will make imported baby formula cheaper for parents. The bill will now move to consideration in the Senate. The FDA has also been working with foreign infant formula manufacturers so that they can permanently sell their products in the U.S. This should go a long way to permanently address the baby formula shortage issues.


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