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Andrea Felsted

Why Are U.S. Grocery Shelves Out of Everything Again?

Just as omicron made supply issues worse, customers got back to panic buying and stocking up on baking supplies.

Empty shelves at Walmart.

Empty shelves at Walmart.

Photographer: Anadolu Agency/Anadolu

Here we go again. Walk into a U.S. supermarket, and chances are you’ll see some empty shelves once more.

It’s an unwelcome throwback to earlier stages of the pandemic. Remember in 2020 when panic buying and a sudden frenzy for baking hit grocery aisles hard? And last year, when supply chain snarl-ups led to shortages of everything from cat food to Lunchables? This time around, the poor availability is due to a convergence of both issues.