Since our supply chain update last month, many of the empty slots on our shelves have been filled as manufacturers continue to ramp up production to meet demand. Though supplies of some organic oat products can be spotty, most of the other baking and cereal products are back on the shelf. One exception is the continuing production shortfalls of the very popular Michele’s Granolas. Their sales are up dramatically, but being a relatively small company they have had trouble safely (remember Covid distancing requirements) ramping up production to meet the demand. They are hiring for a second production shift and hope to catch up early next year.
Another company hampered by production capacity is NOW, which supplies us with hundreds of nutritional supplement, body care and food products. Demand for their products has skyrocketed during the pandemic. Currently NOW’s stock-out rate is running at more than 50% across all categories. They are also ramping up production, have new tableting and encapsulation machines on order and have 120 job openings to fill. We have brought in a number of alternative products for those unavailable from NOW, but many of their supplements are unique and not easy to substitute.
Finally, both our produce department staff and customers have been extremely frustrated by both the availability and quality of organic salad mixes, lettuces, broccoli and cauliflower. The effects of the California wildfires on produce can not be overstated. Soot on vegetables impacts their quality and smoke in the air reduces the number of hours harvesters are allowed to work in the fields. Both lead to shortages. Our super-picky produce team will not accept marginal produce, so we have often had a much smaller display of these affected vegetables than you have come to expect from us. With winter harvesting moving to growing regions in Arizona and Mexico, quality and supplies should improve over the next few months. Thanks for your support as Harvest Market continues to stock more than 100 different certified organic fresh fruit and vegetable varieties every day.