Baby formula is getting even harder to come by at retailers across the U.S., amid a nationwide shortage of one of the most important products for new parents.
At retailers across the U.S., 40% of the top-selling baby formula products were out of stock as of the week ending April 24, a new analysis from Datasembly, which tracked baby formula stock at more than 11,000 stores, shows. National out-of-stock levels jumped nine percentage points, from 31% to 40% between April 3 and April 24. That’s up sharply from 11% in November.
“This is a shocking number that you don’t see for other categories,” Ben Reich, CEO of Datasembly told CBS MoneyWatch.
The supply of baby formula was already so constrained that retailers have been limiting the number of products consumers are allowed to purchase in order to preserve their inventories.
Rationing at stores
Drugstore chains Walgreens and CVS Health, and department store Target in April put limits on how many baby formula products consumers can purchase at one time.
A spokesperson for Walgreens told CBS MoneyWatch it is limiting customers to three infant and toddler formula products per transaction, citing “increased demand and various supplier issues.”
CVS Health also says it has imposed a limit of three baby formula products per purchase in stores and online, until it can procure sufficient supply from its vendors.