That rate increased another 9 percentage points in just three weeks in April, and is now at 40%, statistics show. In six states — Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Missouri, Texas and Tennessee — more than half of infant formula was completely sold out during the week beginning April 24, Datasembly said.
And though seven states had between 40-50% of infant formula products out of stock in early April, 26 states are now struggling with supply.
“This problem has been compounded by supply chain issues, product recalls and historical inflation,” said Datasembly CEO Ben Reich. “Unfortunately, given the unprecedented amount of volatility in the category, we anticipate infant formula to remain one of the hardest hit products on the market.”
CVS and Walgreens confirmed they are limiting customers nationwide to three infant and infant formula per transaction. “We continue to work diligently with our supplier partners to better meet customer demands,” Walgreens said in a statement to CNN Business.
A spokesperson for Target confirmed that the retailer limited infant formula purchases to four units per customer for online shopping. There is no limit to the number of units that can be purchased in person at Target stores, the company said.
Walmart did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN Business.
The shortage was exacerbated by the Food and Drug Administration’s closure of an Abbott Nutrition facility in Sturgis, Michigan. Abbott is a major producer of infant formula.
An Abbott spokesperson noted that the recall only affected batches of formula produced and distributed at its Sturgis, Michigan facility, and said that no other products that Abbott distributes so far have tested positive for Salmonella or other pathogens.
Abbott told CNN in a statement on Saturday is working closely with the FDA to resume operations at its Michigan plant.
“We continue to make progress on corrective actions and will implement additional actions as we work to address items related to the recent recall. Meanwhile, we are working to increase infant formula supply by prioritizing infant formula production at our facilities that supply products to the US market,” Abbott said in a statement to CNN Business.