Women aren’t imagining it as they view near-empty store shelves: Global supply chain issues have prompted a shortage of tampons.
Reports on social media of shortages were confirmed this week by the on-demand grocery delivery service, Instacart, as searches for tampons rose 13% over last week.
At the same time, the ability of Instacart’s shoppers to fill orders dropped 67%, the lowest since the pandemic began, CNN Business reported. Moreover, shoppers looking to hoard tampons have sent sales up 29% week over week.
“We’re beginning to see tampon turbulence show up in the Instacart app in response to the growing shortage, with purchasing behavior beginning to rival that of the beginning of the pandemic, as customers adopt stock-up behavior,” Laurentia Romaniuk, Instacart’s trend expert and senior product manager, said in a statement.
Shortages are being caused by supply problems getting cotton and plastic, which have been in high demand from the start of the pandemic because they are used to make personal protective equipment (PPE). The war in the Ukraine has also exacerbated the shortage, as Russia and Ukraine are major exporters of fertilizer used to grow cotton. Meanwhile, a Texas drought has also made things worse for cotton crops.
Procter & Gamble, which owns Tampax and the Always brand, told CNN Business that the Tampax team is “producing tampons 24/7 to meet the increased demand.”
“We understand it is frustrating for consumers when they can’t find what they need,” a company spokesperson said. “We can assure you this is a temporary situation.”
Walgreens and CVS are aware of shortages of tampons and other women’s health products and are working to restock as soon as possible, CNN Business reported.