That rate rose another 9 percentage points in just three weeks in April, and now stands at 40%, according to statistics. In six states — Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Missouri, Texas and Tennessee — more than half of infant formula was completely sold out in the week beginning April 24, Datasembly said.
And though seven states had between 40 and 50 percent of baby products out of stock in early April, 26 states are now struggling with supplies.
“This issue has been compounded by supply chain issues, product recalls and historic inflation,” said Datasembly CEO Ben Reich. “Unfortunately, given the unprecedented volatility in the category, we expect infant formula to continue to be one of the hardest-hit products on the market.”
CVS and Walgreens have confirmed that they are limiting customers nationwide to three toddler and infant formula per transaction. “We continue to work diligently with our vendor partners to best meet customer demands,” Walgreens said in a statement to CNN Business.
A Target spokesperson confirmed that the retailer has limited formula purchases to four units per customer for online purchases. There is no limit to the number of units that can be purchased in person at Target stores, the company said.
Walmart did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN Business.
The shortage has been exacerbated by the Food and Drug Administration’s closure of an Abbott Nutrition facility in Sturgis, Michigan. Abbott is a major producer of infant formula.
Abbott’s spokesperson noted that the recall only affects batches of formulas produced and distributed from its Sturgis, Michigan, facility and said no other products Abbott distributes have so far had been tested positive for Salmonella or other pathogens.
Abbott told CNN in a statement on Saturday it is working closely with the FDA to resume operations at its Michigan plant.
“We continue to make progress on corrective actions and will implement additional actions as we work to address items related to the recent recall. In the meantime, we are working to increase the supply of infant formula by prioritizing to the production of infant formula at our facilities that supply product to the U.S. market,” Abbott said in a statement to CNN Business.