Ómicron empties supermarkets in the US
Lack of staff creates shortages on the shelves
WASHINGTON (EFE).— Neither fruit nor meat nor cleaning products: the shelves are empty again in some supermarkets in the United States due to omicron, which is causing numerous staff losses, which coincides with new problems in the global chain of supplies.
“I haven’t found everything I came to buy; some shelves were empty, I wanted ‘kleenex’ and some things to clean, but there were none,” lamented Anne, a 50-year-old resident of Washington at the door of a supermarket.
Inside the premises it seemed that a hurricane had passed through the fruit and vegetable section, and finding beef or chicken was a pipe dream, although there was toilet paper, which was conspicuous by its absence at the start of the pandemic.
From the Consumer Brands Association, which represents the nation’s packaged food, beverage, and home and personal care companies, Vice President of Research and Communication Katie Denis explained that these issues They come from before.
In this sense, he recalled that the packaged goods industry has faced difficulties in the supply chain throughout the pandemic, which has caused it to weaken and has left no room for the system to handle disruptions, such as storms. winter or omicron”.
“That’s now showing up on thinly stocked shelves for consumers,” said Katie Denis, who pointed out that what’s going on today is a labor shortage, not a food shortage.
In his contacts with industry executives, his association has learned that companies are suffering from high absenteeism due to omicron, which coincides with efforts to make new hires and fill 118,000 vacancies in the health products sector. packaged consumption.
“Unfortunately, we have only added 1,600 jobs in the last month,” the expert noted.
It is not the first time that empty shelves have been seen in the country’s supermarkets during the pandemic: at the beginning of it, in March 2020, there was a shortage of toilet paper, pasta, flour and other products, while in October and November saw a major bottleneck in the supply chain.