Milk, bagged salads, ramen noodles, cold medicine, and cat litter are among the items shoppers can’t get.
Utahns see the COVID-19 pandemic starting to repeat itself — with Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert contracting the virus for a second time, the Sundance Film Festival shifting to an online format and store shelves barren again.
According to comments on a Twitter prompt from The Salt Lake Tribune this weekIt’s not just toilet paper and sanitizing wipes that Utahns can’t find on grocery store shelves, but a wide variety of items.
Some experts have cited global supply chain problems caused or exacerbated by the pandemic. Nationally, stores saw similar supply problems when the delta variant ran amok. And labor shortages, exacerbated by the pandemic, could make it harder to produce those items and get them on the shelves.
Here are, by category, some of the scarce items in Utah, according to people who responded to The Tribune’s request for comment:
Produce • Carrots, broccoli, lettuce, coriander and other vegetables; bananas and other fruits (although “no one wanted the grapes and blueberries,” one respondent said), and bagged salad packs.
Staples • Milk, canned beans, ramen noodles, Pillsbury biscuits and sickle buns, bagels, chicken, sausage and large containers of Greek yogurt.
Other food • Pasta sauce, chips, toasted strudel and spices — one respondent mentioned several spices and ingredients believed to have antibacterial properties: nutmeg, cloves, ginger, garlic, honey, and apple cider vinegar.
Drinks • Orange juice, ginger ale, Gatorade and Fresca were mentioned – and one person said ‘alcohol’, although it was not clear whether they meant beer or rubbing alcohol.
Other household items • Garbage bags, cat food and cat litter.
Medicine • Cold meds, chewable Pepto-Bismol — and one of the toughest commodities anywhere: COVID-19 home testing.
Even when groceries are available, inflation has led to a drop in consumer confidence in Utah, according to a new study published by the Kem C. Gardner Institute. However, consumer confidence in Utah consistently exceeds the national average, the Gardner study found.