Summer Picnics Struggle Against the Latest Supply Chain Shortages
Over the course of the pandemic, consumers have become more and more familiar with how a supply chain failure can impact their day-to-day lives, whether it’s safety equipment, toilet paper, or even kettlebell weights. But some of the latest shortages seem specially designed to mess with everyone’s summer fun.
Chlorine is currently at a premium, due to a number of factors – including a surprise pandemic-related surge in 2020 and a fire that destroyed Louisiana chemical plant BioLab, one of the three major chlorine suppliers in the U.S. As a result, now that swimming pool owners are prepping for the summer, demand is high and prices are spiking by as much as 70%.
“For the past 20 years, a typical 50-pound bucket of chlorine would run anywhere from $75 to $85. Within the last year, it’s increased to $140, with the proposed price of $158 in the near future,” Scotty’s Pool Service owner Scotty Heer told CNBC.
The backyard barbecue woes are set to extend to the grill, too. The chicken supply chain has also taken a hit during COVID-19 due to increased demand, a shortage of line workers, and the surprise winter storms in the southern U.S., which are major chicken producing regions. National Chicken Council spokesman Tom Super described it as a “very tight supply but short of a shortage,” though prices have fluctuated dramatically in the past few months all the same.
Finally, if you’re more of a burger lover than a chicken fiend, hopefully you like a variety of condiments because ketchup may be harder to find on the picnic table. During the pandemic, dine-in restaurants working to stay afloat, started offering carry-out menus, including sides of ketchup, increasing demand, driving prices up and dropping supplies. Heinz recently announced a 25% increase in production, so hopefully summer can be saved.