Commodity Blog

May 24 2022

The Food Biz Episode 29 Recap: The Baby Formula Shortage

On this week's episode of The Food Biz, hosts Kristyn Tarpey and Ryan Nelson discuss the baby formula shortage. 

Ryan starts off the conversation by explaining one of the reasons this shortage is so scary is because there is no good replacement for baby formula.  If you don’t have it you just don’t have it.  Kristyn adds that 43% of formula products were out of stock in the US at the beginning of May - which is an alarming statistic given that so many people rely on baby formula to feed their children.  

Kristyn transitions the discussion to the bill aimed at addressing the nationwide baby formula shortage.  Ryan questions how much the bill will help solve the shortage issue and make more formulas.  Kristyn provides more information on the bill, explaining that one thing the bill aims to accomplish is to provide the FDA with the resources to strengthen and increase the number of FDA inspection staff.

Ryan adds that shortages typically come down to labor shortages and commodity prices.  Krystn states that a major contributor to the baby formula shortage is that there was a formula recall by Abbott which exacerbated supply chain disruptions among formula makers.  Abbot had to shut down a plant in Michigan in February due to contamination concerns.  The plant supplied up to ⅕ of the baby formula for the country.  The good news is that the FDA struck a deal with Abbot which will allow them to open their manufacturing plant in Michigan in 1-2 weeks.

Make sure to listen to the entire episode on Spotify or in the Apple Podcasts App! While you’re there, don’t forget to subscribe. Also, feel free to reach out to us by email at with any discussion topics, questions, comments, or overall feedback; Ryan and Kristyn would love to hear from you.

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