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Walmart says baby formula stock improving in stores

Grocery Delivery
Posted at 2:42 PM, Aug 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-16 16:42:23-04

U.S. retail giant Walmart says that stock of baby formula in its stores is showing signs of improved availability for customers after acute formula shortages caused panic for many parents across the country in recent months.

Walmart's CFO John David Rainey announced the news during a Tuesday earnings call, according to Reuters. Walmart said that earnings forecasts should now improve over what the company had previously anticipated.

As Politico reported earlier this month, Walmart faces big competition, with Amazon looking at opportunities to dive into the $2 billion per year formula market.

Data from Information Resources Incorporated showed that 20% of formula brands were out of stock for the week ending July 24. Powdered formula had an out-of-stock rate of 30% for the week, CNN reported.

U.S. officials had previously announced that it could weeks for the formula produced at a once-shuttered Abbott plant in Michigan to reach store shelves, with many expecting shortages to last through the summer.

Initially, officials blamed supply chain issues and a recall at the Michigan Abbott plant. Production resumed at that plant in July.

The federal government arranged at least 17 flights to ship formula from overseas to the U.S. as parents worried they wouldn't get much-needed specialty formula types for their babies.

FDA Commissioner Robert Califf told NPR that the shortages could ease, but said that companies have been producing too many different types of products, causing inefficiencies in the market.