Shoppers have been no strangers to shortages over the last year and a half. From people hoarding products to a lack of workers, there have been a number of factors contributing to limited stock amid the COVID pandemic. The list of products that have disappeared from store shelves includes toilet paper, cleaning supplies, at-home COVID tests, bacon, and even alcohol. Now, another popular drink is in dangerous territory. Read on to find out what Pepsi beverage is in short supply right now.
Shoppers and retailers say there is a shortage of Gatorade.
Across both ends of the U.S., retailers and shoppers are noting that Gatorade has been hard to come by recently. Tim Metcalfe, the co-owner of Metcalfe's Market in Madison, Wisconsin, recently told NBC-affiliate WTMJ-TV that the store is struggling to keep Gatorade in stock right now. "The supply chain got behind and we were kind of hopeful it would catch up, but unfortunately it just hasn't," he said. On Walmart's website, several Gatorade products are listed as out-of-stock, include a standard 12-pack of the traditional Fruit Punch flavor.
In San Diego, California, shopper Kate Ellis told ABC 10 News that she has been having trouble finding drinks for her children's school lunches. "Gatorade, and a lot of different juices, are missing today," she said. Amber Edwards, a mother of two from Huntsville, Alabama, told The Wall Street Journal that she has gone to several supermarkets in her area for large packs of cherry Gatorade only to find small sizes of other flavors. "The shelves are empty, and online they are always out of stock," Edwards said.
PespiCo just acknowledged that Gatorade is facing supply chain issues.
Hugh Johnston, PepsiCo's vice chairman and chief financial officer, told Bloomberg on Oct. 5 that there have been some clear challenges with supplier input within the last year. According to Johnston, the company's beverage business has suffered in particular due to a shortage of certain supplies, like the plastic bottles used for Gatorade sports drinks.
"We are not immune to it," he said. "It's been a bit of a challenge."
The Gatorade shortage has been ongoing for more than a year now.
Gatorade has been in short supply since Sept. 2020, KRDO News Channel 13 reported at the time. According to Beverage Digest, the demand for Gatorade is normally the highest during the summer months and hotter-than-average temperatures hit both the summers of 2020 and 2021, potentially increasing the demand for this popular thirst quencher even more. At the same time, doctors began recommending Gatorade to help people retain adequate hydration levels while battling COVID, which may have further raised the demand for this drink, according to CBS 42.
"Ultimately, it appears these factors worked to increase demand for Gatorade at a time when chain dynamics were already interfering with Gatorade's ability to keep up," the food experts at Mashed explained.
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PepsiCo says it will raise prices to offset these problems.
Johnston told Bloomberg that the company will be broadly raising prices early next year, as the "number one" tool to offset higher commodity, transportation, and supply chain costs. According to Reuters, this will be in addition to another price hike PepsiCo has already put on its drinks and snacks in recent weeks.
"I do expect there will probably be some price increases in the first quarter of next year as well, as we fully absorb and lock down the impact of commodity inflation," Johnston explained. "But we're still a relatively low price, relatively convenient purchase."