NEW YORK CITY, New York: Months after the U.S. faced acute shortages of baby formula, this week two major U.S. retailers, Walmart and Target, said that baby formula was becoming increasingly available in their stores.
However, amidst ongoing supply constraints Target said it will continue to restrict purchases at both its stores and online.
The shortage began during the COVID-19 pandemic and was worsened by supply chain issues in February, when the largest U.S. formula supplier, Abbott Laboratories, recalled some of its products and closed a manufacturing plant due to reports of bacterial
U.S. health regulators, therefore, bought millions of cans of emergency supplies from Nestle and Reckitt Benckiser, as well as relaxed importation policies.
While also importing baby formula products from its international plants, in early July, Abbott partially restarted production of some formulas at its Sturgis, Michigan facility.
During an earnings call this week, Walmart Chief Financial Officer John David Rainey said the shortage the company experienced in a "big way" in the second quarter was easing.
Baby formula stock levels in U.S. stores have recently improved, according to market research firm IRI.
Meanwhile, as lower fuel prices and discounts on excess merchandise have enabled it to surpass quarterly sales forecasts, Walmart said, in its quarterly report, that it predicts a lower downturn in its annual profit.