Due to supply-chain problems in North America, families are struggling to find special baby formula.
The shortage of infant formula in the United States has begun to affect Canadian families, who are now struggling to find alternative sources of breast milk.
A baby-food crisis has recently hit the United States as existing supply chain problems are exacerbated by the withdrawal of a major Abbott Nutrition product, which voluntarily pulled its three brands of powdered baby formula from the shelves after reports of bacterial infections and illness among baby consumers. With two
In the United States, about 40% of infant formulas are no longer in stock in more than 11,000 stores, which has increased demand for the product, as some retailers have even introduced rationing to combat stockpiling, according to online retailer DataSemble.
While major Canadian retailers say they are still not experiencing widespread shortages, smaller store chains have reported problems with stocks. A national spokesman for the Canadian Retail Council told local media that some stores have struggled to maintain a stable supply of sources since 2021.
Loblaws, a Canadian supermarket chain, said supply chain problems and Abbott Recall had left holes in its shelves and affected its ability to stockpile certain types of formula, CBC reported. The company noted that it has so far been able to find alternatives and gather clues from other vendors.
Nevertheless, some Canadian families still find it increasingly challenging to secure alternatives to Abbott’s hypoallergenic formula, and sometimes have to travel hundreds of kilometers or even across the U.S.-Canada border to collect goods for their children.
Meanwhile, experts warn that it is important for Canadians not to panic about the deficit, as is happening in the United States, as it could only exacerbate the crisis. Michelle Pensa Branco, co-founder of Safely Fed Canada, urges parents to stay calm, don’t feel attached to a particular brand of baby formula and consult their pediatrician to find alternative brands. Parents are also advised to supplement their baby’s diet with more breast milk and move on to solid foods as soon as possible.
“I want to discourage people from doing things like buying a whole formula and putting it aside.” Pensa Branco said in an interview with CTV News.
He also points out that some families have a specialty for their children, even though they do not really need it. “Parents using these products do not diagnose a good number of milk allergies.” He added that some parents are using special formulas only because of the advice of friends or because of extra caution.