It's not a stretch to say that millions of shoppers rely on Kroger for their groceries and other necessities. The company currently operates roughly 2,800 stores—including some under the Ralphs, King Soopers, and Dillon's brand names—across 35 states, making it the largest supermarket chain in the U.S. But even as a shopping mainstay, customers have begun to take to social media to air their frustration about some locations' lack of items. Read on to learn more about the shortages reported by Kroger shoppers.
READ THIS NEXT: 5 Warnings to Shoppers From Former Kroger Employees.
In a recent video, shoppers are complaining of "empty shelves" at Kroger stores.
It wasn't long ago that the COVID-19 pandemic upended how we shop for groceries and household essentials. Supply chain issues brought on by the spread of the virus made barely stocked shelves a common sight, especially for items such as toilet paper or cleaning products. But even as the world has begun to return to normal, some stores are still having issues keeping certain things in stock—including Kroger.
In a YouTube video posted on Dec. 31, user AdventuresWithDanno took viewers on a walk-through of his own local Kroger store to document what was available for purchase and take note of any changes. But the thrifty grocery enthusiast left somewhat surprised by what he found.
"We are at Kroger, and are noticing price increases on groceries, and a lot of empty shelves!" the user wrote in the video's caption. "We are here to check out skyrocketing prices and the empty shelves situation! It's getting rough out here as stores seem to be struggling with getting products!"
Several everyday items were in short supply or missing entirely.
During his visit, the user perused the aisles to point out which specific items appeared to be in short supply. Notably, they said that the pet supply aisle was showing signs of limited inventory.
"If you find cat [litter], don't worry about the price: Just get some," the channel host warns. "We're seeing inconvenience stickers everywhere, and these are fresh. This must be becoming an issue again," before pointing out that cheaper dog foods and specific brands of cat food are missing or in low quantities.
During a visit to the store's dairy cases, it also became clear that another kitchen staple was hard to come by as three shelves in a cooler case dedicated to eggs sat bare. "It's exactly what we thought with all the eggs. People are starting to buy other eggs because the store brands—the cheapest ones you can get—are getting really expensive," he explains.
Best Life reached out to Kroger for more information about the in-store issues, but has not yet heard back.
Prices have also jumped on many popular items.
But it wasn't just a lack of inventory that created issues for the YouTube host. The savvy shopper also noticed that several staple items were creeping up in price—even though the store was using sales to apparently mask the changes.
The user pointed out that while a five-pound bag of mandarin oranges was available on sale at the store for $6.49, their original price had jumped up to $7.99, calling the change "crazy." Other items such as blackberries saw a similar bump in their base price, while things like bell peppers and non-dairy creamers also saw their costs rise while not advertised as being on sale.
Fans watching the video chimed in with their own takes on the changes. "These price increases are just insane!" one commenter posted. "You have to wonder where it's all going to end."
Users across social media have reported similar findings at their local Kroger stores.
While AdventuresWithDanno mentions that some of his followers have reported seeing different issues at their own stores, other Kroger shoppers are also taking to social media to air their grievances about similar problems with pricing and bare shelves.
"Just paid $5.49 for a dozen Kroger large [eggs]. Several days ago the same egg section was totally empty," one user wrote in a tweet on Dec. 31.
In one case, a shopper reached out to the supermarket chain out of fear that their local store in Kentucky was closing due to a lack of inventory. "Most of dairy and meat section completely empty. Shopped here for 30 yrs almost and I have never seen it like this," they wrote to the company in a tweet, before a representative responded saying the store would not be shuttering.
And in another tweet sent to the company on Dec. 25, one user posted four photos of almost completely bare shelves in one Ohio location's meat, produce, and frozen food sections, asking "where did all the food go @Kroger?" In this case, the company acknowledged the issue, replying: "Yikes! We're sorry to see your local Kroger shelves are empty!" while assuring them that the company had reached out to the location's management to address the issue.