Baby formula still hard to find nearly a year after shortage began

Baby formula still hard to find nearly a year after shortage began

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Popular baby formula maker warns shortage likely to prolong until Spring

‘Baby formula search and swap’ creator Hannah Kroll joined ‘Varney & Co.’ to discuss the ongoing baby formula shortage that is reportedly going to extend until Spring.

Nearly a year after a nationwide shortage, parents are still not able to find baby formula on store shelves. 

"There has really been a critical shortage since May – and not as critical shortage since February… there has never actually been a full shelf," said mother of two Hannah Kroll during an appearance on FOX Business’ "Varney & Co."

Her comments come as Reckitt – the maker of popular formula brand Enfamil – told Reuters that the shortage would likely continue until spring. 

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The shortage began earlier this year when Abbott Nutrition plant in Sturgis, Michigan, was shut down due to reports of infants being hospitalized after consuming products from the facility.

Following a number of setbacks, production at the Sturgis plant resumed in July, prioritizing specialty formulas like EleCare, and popular Similac products. While supply chains are normalizing, in-store stock of baby formula remains uneven and unpredictable.

At the peak of the shortage, the White House took steps to boost supply, but the crisis is not over. 

BABY FORMULA SHORTAGE STRETCHES INTO EIGHTH MONTH

The national in-stock rate for baby formula has climbed back to 82.24%, but the supply is still below the 89% supply families were accustomed to before the formula crisis began in February. 

Around 33% of American families were still struggling to find baby formula in September, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey. Meanwhile, nearly one in five affected households has less than one week of formula accessible, the same survey reveals. 

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In an effort to prevent panic buying, some stores have implemented a purchase limit, which restricts the amount of baby formula an individual can purchase at one time. 

Until purchase limits are eliminated, Kroll does not see an end to the crisis. 

"Parents can only buy two to four containers of formula at a time, depending on the store and those rules. That lasts a family about a week, a week and a half of formula," she explained. 

ABBOTT RECALLS SEVERAL READY-TO-FEED LIQUID BABY FORMULA

She also noted that alternative resources are scarce and not all formula is the same. 

"Parents whose children are on Alimentum formulas or hypoallergenic formulas are not able to switch – and right now those are the ones that we are very much missing," she explained. "The standard formulas are available-ish. You can sometimes substitute one type of Similac for another if it's the standard, but you really can't substitute [hypoallergenic formulas]."

Similac did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. 

Parents are grappling with a near-year long formula shortage.  (REUTERS/Brian Snyder / Reuters)

In May, Kroll launched Facebook group "Baby Formula Search and Swap" to help parents across the nation. 

Kroll said the success of the group has led to expand on social media to Instagram but cautioned to watch for scams.  

"If it seems too good to be true and you’re on social media – it’s probably too good to be true," she said. 

FOX Business’ Timothy Nerozzi contributed to this report. 

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