The United States is facing a nationwide shortage of baby formula. The pandemic, supply chain issues, and a huge product recall have all contributed to the current crisis. As a result, where to buy baby formula is a question most parents are now facing.
The federal government recently announced it’s working with manufacturers to increase production of baby formula and help parents find baby formula stock. However, pediatricians predict the current baby formula shortage could last for months. A recent study shows that baby formula shortages hit 30% in April and jumped to 40% by the end of the month, according to Datasembly.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Depending on where you live, retailers like Target, Amazon, and Walmart still have baby formula in stock and ready to ship. However, supplies are low. So if you’re looking for stores where to buy baby formula — here are some spots with stock.
Where to buy baby formula
Depending on where you live, there are still a few online retailers with baby formula stock. You might even spot some Amazon deals if you’re fast enough. Here’s where you can look to buy baby formula right now.
How did the baby formula shortage start?
The pandemic caused supply issues across various sectors. Unfortunately, the baby formula industry was not immune to these disruptions. Labor shortages, transportation issues, and parents panic-purchasing baby formula during the initial pandemic lockdown have all contributed to the current environment.
Earlier this year, Abbott Nutrition also recalled three infant formulas due to a possible bacterial infection. The recall affected popular brands like Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare. During the FDA’s investigation, further issues came to light involving manufacturing problems and bacterial contamination, according to AP News.
How is the federal government helping?
The Biden administration is working with four companies to increase the production of baby formula. It’s also working with retailers like Walmart and Target to help families find where to buy baby formula.
- Cracking down on price gouging: Unfortunately, there have been reports of consumers stockpiling baby formula and reselling it online at higher prices. As a result, the FDA is calling on retailers to issue buying limitations. Additionally, the DOJ is monitoring retailers who price gouging in the infant formula market.
- Faster restocking of shelves: The type of formula that companies make is impacted by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Half of the infant formula sold is purchased by participants using WIC benefits. The federal government is urging states to allow WIC recipients to use their WIC benefits on a wider variety of products. So if a certain size or type of baby formula is out of stock, WIC recipients can use their benefits to buy baby formulas that is in stock.
- Increasing imports: The U.S. produces 98% of the infant formula it consumes. However, the FDA is working with trading partners in Mexico, Chile, Ireland, and the Netherlands to increase imports of baby formula to the U.S.
Tips for saving on baby formula
- Try new brands: The shortage seems to be affecting some brands, such as Similac, more than others. If stock is low on your usual brands, look for other brands to supplement what you have. You may want to check with your child’s doctor before switching brands.
- Buy direct: While it may be more convenient to shop from your local grocer, you might have luck if you buy direct from the baby formula brands. Companies like Gerber and Enfamil allow you to purchase direct from their website.