If you shop regularly at a grocery store, you probably noticed that a few items are out of stock. While it's usual for some grocery store items to be out of stock, the percentage has been running above average for the last few years. Some people on social media are also complaining about a shortage of almond milk. Is there an almond milk shortage in 2022?
While food shortage reports have been circulating for almost two years now since the COVID-19 pandemic began, they became even more credible after U.S. President Joe Biden warned of a “real” food shortage amid the Russia-Ukraine war. The U.N. also shares the same views and is particularly concerned about food shortage as well as rising food inflation in Africa.
Why has the U.S. supply chain been strained?
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities in the U.S. supply chain, both for the consumer as well as industrial products. The U.S. has been relying on imports for several product categories and the global supply chain crisis hit the country pretty hard.
Even for items that are sourced domestically, there have been supply chain issues. We had a V-shaped recovery in demand while the supply growth couldn't keep pace. Labor, drivers, and packaging material shortages are the common theme in most cases.
The U.S. is the largest almond producer and exporter.
Almond is a different story altogether and the U.S. is the largest producer as well as exporter. India and China are the major markets for U.S. almonds. So, the global supply chain issues don't apply to the domestic U.S. almond market and by its extension almond milk.
Almond demand has been strong as more people go vegan, and the demand for U.S. almonds overseas continues to remain healthy. On the supply side, there was a historic drought in California in 2021, which impacted the almond production forecast in the state.
The Boston Globe reported that H.P. Hood Dairy was targeted in a cyberattack and had to temporarily halt production. Also, the shortage of bottles and other packaging materials could be impacting the supply of almond milk.
There doesn't appear to be a nationwide shortage of almond milk.
Unlike some of the other food products that are in short supply pretty much across the U.S., there doesn't appear to be a nationwide shortage of almond milk. While there could be a shortage of almond milk in some grocery stores, it's available at big retail chains like Walmart.
Also, if you try shopping online on e-commerce platforms like Amazon, you would find plenty of almond milk. Neither Walmart nor Amazon has talked about an almond milk shortage or limited supply of various brands.
When there is a chronic shortage, the companies usually warn users that the product is in short supply. For example, when Friskies Wet Cat food was witnessing a severe shortage in 2021, Amazon guided users to alternate brands.
You should still be able to find almond milk at stores as well as online. You could also try making some almond milk at home.