Following the worrying scarcity of infant formula, tampons are the latest commodity to vanish from shop shelves in the United States, illustrating supply chain issues that are disrupting daily living.
In letters to AFP, drugstore chains CVS and Walgreens acknowledged that specific tampon brands are temporarily unavailable in various locations.
Customers may not be able to locate their typical brand in American retailers, according to Procter & Gamble, which produces the popular Tampax line among other goods.
Walgreens stated that it was working with vendors to ensure that supplies were accessible in all of its locations.
CVS also stated that if a local store is temporarily out of a product, they will attempt to restock it as soon as possible.
The crisis has been ongoing for months, but has recently received more public attention.
According to Patrick Penfield, a supply chain management specialist at Syracuse University, demand has risen recently, owing to additional purchases by consumers concerned about brand shortages and fearing they won’t be able to buy more goods.
People stockpile toilet paper at the onset of an epidemic, he said. He also mentioned that certain basic commodities, such as cotton and plastic, are in limited supply.
The scenario differs from the infant formula crisis, which began as a result of supply chain snarls and personnel shortages but quickly worsened when Abbott closed a Michigan factory in February and issued a product recall after the deaths of two newborns prompted worries about contamination.
The tampon factories are working, according to Penfield, who predicts a return to normal in the next six months.
Meanwhile, the shortfall has provided Republicans with a fresh attack vector against US President Joe Biden, with the Republican National Committee criticizing Biden’s war on women on Twitter.