Cheetos bags
Source: Cheetos Facebook

Summer Is Here, and Hot Cheetos Are Still Hard To Find

Ambrish Shah - Author
By

Jun. 22 2022, Updated 4:23 a.m. ET

Food shortages at your local grocery stores are becoming the new normal, if they aren't already. After shortages of pumpkin, poultry, and ketchup, many people want to know if there's a Hot Cheeto shortage in the U.S.

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Supply-chain disruptions have made some items hard to find since last year. A spike in demand over the holiday season was too much for some suppliers to keep up with. Add a truck driver shortage, rising energy prices, and climate change affecting crops, and you have a perfect storm.

Is there a Hot Cheeto shortage?

Last year, fans of Cheetos Crunchy Xxtra Flamin' Hot snacks took to social media platforms to complain about a shortage at Walmart and Target. There haven't been any recentl reports of Cheetos shortages from retailers or Cheetos itself, but some customers are still complaining online about not being able to find the snacks. These shortages appear to be localized.

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is there a hot cheeto shortage
Source: Cheetos Facebook

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in shutdowns and reduced production. Cheetos is a crispy corn puff snack brand manufactured by Frito-Lay, a PepsiCo subsidiary. Other chips, such as Doritos Salsa Verde and Lay's Lightly Salted Potato Chips, have also been in short supply. In some parts of the country, Frito-Lay was short of snacks due to a strike at its Topeka, Kans., factory. Hundreds of workers at the Topeka plant were on strike for about 20 days in July 2021, demanding more pay and less overtime.

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is there a hot cheeto shortage
Source: Cheetos Facebook

Which food items are short in supply?

In June 2021, a ransomware attack hit one of the world's largest beef suppliers. As a result, beef is often still in low supply at grocery stores, and more expensive than before. There have also been shortages of turkey and chicken, and, as the price of grain has risen, the available birds are more expensive. These animals have also been in more demand because their natural oils are used as an alternative for diesel fuel, which is pricier now.

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The spread of a fungus on several pumpkin farms in Illinois in 2021—the source of the majority of canned pumpkin and pumpkin puree—may make getting your autumnal flavor fix harder. Furthermore, restaurants had to switch from bottled ketchup to ketchup packets when consumers started ordering takeout and delivery instead of eating out, resulting in a shortage. Oat milk, frozen meals, powdered milk, liquor, and pet food have also been in short supply.

When will the supply-chain issues end?

No one knows for sure, but many believe that the supply-chain problems will continue into late 2022. The existing disruptions could get worse with the continued truck driver shortages and high gas prices.

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