The COVID-19 pandemic may be slowly fading from view, but the grocery store shortages that emerged during that trying time continue.
Several items now are in short supply at your favorite grocers. They range from staple foods to important medications.
Following are items that have become harder to find on grocery shelves and at grocery pharmacies.
1. Vegetable oil
As governments worldwide move toward new sources of energy such as soybeans and canola, the oils that traditionally have been used for cooking now help power trucks and planes.
Experts worry that biofuel boom, along with supply shortages resulting from wars and drought around the globe, might result in a shortage of vegetable oils.
A combination of dry weather in India and low production in Mexico has experts predicting a global shortage of chickpeas for much of this year.
The shortage is likely to last for about six months. Chickpeas have become more popular recently among health-conscious consumers, which has driven up demand.
Eggs have been in short supply for a while, and the Jewish tradition of Passover Seder, where eggs play a prominent role, has increased pressure on inventory recently. Also, eggs are in demand in the spring for Easter traditions such as holiday baking and egg hunts.
An unprecedented outbreak of contagious and deadly avian influenza has resulted in tens of millions of birds being euthanized, resulting in an egg shortage. Fortunately, demand — and prices — are expected to drop after Easter.
4. Pet food
Fido and Fifi are facing shortages of their own. Supply chain issues continue to bedevil the pet-food industry.
Scarce raw materials are being diverted to human needs, according to reports. Staffing issues and slow delivery also are contributing to the problem.
5. Some children’s medications
Some over-the-counter medicines for children also are in short supply. Fever medications containing ibuprofen and acetaminophen are harder to find.
Supply chain issues are behind the woes, and a recent increase in child respiratory illness has exacerbated the situation.
6. Specific prescription drugs
In addition to shortages of children’s over-the-counter medications, some prescription drugs are now harder to find.
Drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin — used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder — are in short supply after a surge in prescriptions for such medications that coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shortages also have been reported for some antibiotics and cancer medicines.