Here’s Why You Can’t Find Canned Pumpkin Puree in Stores

Kelly O'Sullivan
·2 mins read

From House Beautiful

First, toilet paper vanished. Then Dr Pepper became impossible to find. Now, canned pumpkin is the latest grocery item to disappear from store shelves—right at the start of fall baking season.

Shoppers across the country have noticed that the autumn pantry essential is mysteriously absent, sparking a rumor that there’s a pumpkin shortage happening at the worst possible time. Luckily, experts have set the record straight.

“There is not a shortage [of pumpkins],” Raghela Scavuzzo, associate director of food systems development with the Illinois Farm Bureau, told Allrecipes. “Just to be clear, there is not a shortage this year.

Photo credit: Steve Terrill
Photo credit: Steve Terrill

According to Raghela, farmers experienced a rain delay when it was time to plant pumpkin crops, so harvesting took place later than usual—which means it’s taking longer for this year’s pumpkin goods to make it to store shelves. Otherwise, it has been “a very normal year and the supply is absolutely normal.”

We know what you're thinking: If everything is fine, where’s 👏 the 👏 pumpkin?!

Apparently, over-eager bakers (hi, that's us!) are mostly to blame for the lack of canned pumpkin available.

“I think that with COVID, people are going out a little early, they’re starting their baking early, and usually by now you would see this year’s supply [of pumpkin] out [on store shelves],” Raghela said. “This year’s supply and inventory hasn’t come in yet, but I know farmers with plenty of pumpkins on their fields.”

In other words, everyone jumped the gun on baking pumpkin sheet cake this year. (Sorry, not sorry.) The good news is that a new supply of freshly canned pumpkin should be here before we know it.

Photo credit: ArtCookStudio
Photo credit: ArtCookStudio

“The team in Illinois is currently working hard harvesting Libby’s pumpkins and canning for the upcoming season,” Libby’s Brand Manager Justin Corrado told Allrecipes. “We typically begin shipping to retailers around this time for bake season, so you can expect to see pumpkin back on shelves over the next few weeks.”

Be patient, friends. In the meantime, try your hand at making homemade pumpkin puree.

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