If you’re noticing empty shelves when shopping for Thanksgiving, you’re not alone. Apparently, retailers are running lower on Thanksgiving essentials this year more than last year, per CNN. These essentials include fixed-weight turkeys, packaged pie, liquid gravy and cranberry sauce, and most stores will have significantly less in stock.
A number of factors are contributing to Thanksgiving staples disappearing from store shelves — including supply chain ruptures and an unexpected spike in demand. Manufacturers and grocers say supply chain disruptions and high demand, both throughout the year and ahead of the holiday, have contributed to barer shelves.
Ocean Spray, the company that makes cranberry sauce and sells bagged cranberries, said that “consumers may experience some availability issues at times on a variety of cranberry products,” because of supply chain issues. They noted that it doesn’t expect “significant impacts” on the availability of its products. One item you should be able to find without a problem is stuffing, with in-stock rates 2% up from last year, at 92%.
Though you may not find exactly the brand or item you want, there are alternative options. Stew Leonard Jr, CEO of the small grocery chain Stew Leonard’s, said that he’s having trouble stocking some branded products, but he’s been able to make substitutions so that shelves aren’t empty.
“I would say this is a Thanksgiving of alternatives,” he said. “I can’t guarantee our customers that they will have every single item they want,” he added. “But I can guarantee that they will have an alternative to what they want.”
Don’t count on finding any deals this holiday season either, given that supply is low and demand is high. While in years past retailers or product manufacturers may have tried to incentive sales with promotions close to the holiday, it’s unlikely to happen this year.