That percentage rose another 9 percentage points in just three weeks in April and now stands at 40%, the statistics show. In six states — Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Missouri, Texas and Tennessee — more than half of baby food sold out completely in the week starting April 24, Datasembly said.
And though seven states Between 40-50% of baby food products were out of stock in early April, 26 states are now struggling with supply.
“This problem is compounded by supply chain issues, product recalls and historic inflation,” said Ben Reich, CEO of Datasembly. “Unfortunately, given the unprecedented level of volatility in the category, we expect baby food to continue to be one of the most affected products on the market.”
CVS and Walgreens have confirmed it will limit customers nationwide to three toddler and infant formulas per transaction. “We continue to work diligently with our supplier partners to best meet customer requirements,” Walgreens said in a statement to CNN Business.
A Target spokesperson confirmed that the retailer has limited baby food purchases to four units per customer for online purchases. There is no limit on the number of units that can be purchased in person at Target stores, the company said.
Walmart did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN Business.
The shortage has been exacerbated by the Food and Drug Administration’s closure of an Abbott Nutrition facility in Sturgis, Michigan. Abbott is a major producer of baby food.
Abbott said the former employee has been fired for “serious violations of Abbott’s food safety policy” and that it will investigate new allegations.
“Following the dismissal, the former employee, through their attorney, has continued to make new and escalating allegations to multiple authorities,” an Abbott spokesperson said in a statement.
The Abbott spokesperson also said that products tested for Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella were all negative and that no Salmonella was found at the Sturgis facility during the investigation.
“The Cronobacter sakazakii found during environmental testing during the study was located in non-product contact areas of our Sturgis facility and is not linked to the two available patient samples or any other known childhood illness,” the spokesperson said.
Abbott told CNN in a statement Saturday it is working closely with the FDA to resume operations at its Michigan facility.
“We continue to make progress on corrective actions and will implement additional actions as we work to address items related to the recent recall. In the meantime, we are working to increase the infant formula supply by prioritizing the production of infant formula in our facilities that supply product to the US market,” Abbott said in a statement to CNN Business.