When will x shortage be over? Especially Carr's Ginger Lemon Cremes?
October 11, 2022 11:29 AM   Subscribe

Is there a good resource anywhere that will tell me when a product shortage is likely to be over, and ideally why the heck there's a shortage in the first place? I'm especially hankering after Carr's Ginger Lemon Cremes cookies, but curious about several items.

I know supply chains are still a mess, and as much as I've missed certain products when they disappear from the shelves, I'm even more delighted when they return. (And of COURSE I never give the store employees grief; it's certainly not their fault.)

But I would love to know WHEN my favorite items are likely to be back in stock, and out of idle curiousity, I'd also love to know what the heck the hold-up is. (And I'd hate to know that any of my favorite items have been permanently discontinued, but if that's the case, it would save me a couple minutes of scrutinizing the shelves in vain.)

Specific products that seem to come and go:
Trader Joe's Golden Rounds crackers
Barbara's Multigrain Spoonfuls cereal
Bob's Red Mill buckwheat groats and buckwheat pancake mix

Specific products that are still missing:
Carr's Ginger Lemon Cremes
Harney's decaf Assam tea
Trader Joe's Crispy Crunchy Oatmeal Raisin cookies

(Note that Trader Joe's employees have assured me that the Oatmeal Raisin cookies are still in the computer and still scheduled to come in SOMEDAY; it's not something they've discontinued.)

I'd appreciate any info on any of these - or any other! - specific products, but if a general resource exists ("International Journal of Delayed Shipping," maybe?) I'd love to hear about that.

Also, if you work in the grocery business, any insight - especially about how to find out when things might become available again - would be much appreciated. (Sometimes the Trader Joe's folks kindly offer to look up expected arrival dates for me, but more often than not, there's no info available.)

posted by kristi to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You'll need to contact the specific brands about supply issues in your area.
Text for Carrs USA Inc
posted by artdrectr at 12:18 PM on October 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Packages usually have some way to contact the company, that's where I would start.
posted by bleep at 12:25 PM on October 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

Any Trader Joe's employee should be able to look up a product and get an expected return date for it. Source: I was in TJ's recently and lamented that my beloved tinned eggplant was again out of stock, and the guy next to me handling the mustards said hey let me go check for you when it'll be back. And he did.
posted by phunniemee at 12:29 PM on October 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yeah, you basically have to contact the product company itself. When there was an aluminum can shortage, they temporarily discontinued my beloved diet-caffeine-free coke, so I went to the Coke website and found all the info buried in one of their press releases.
posted by Melismata at 12:45 PM on October 11, 2022

Best answer: I loved this Time article tracing the restock of a stuffed giraffe toy through all the supply chain issues.

My friend works for a US company that sells books that were printed in China, and right now, a boat full of their books is just… floating around in the ocean for several extra weeks because the port won’t accept it yet. When they finally do get to dock, there will also be atypical charges applied to the items for just putting the boat in the dock, and the labour cost to unload the boat is also inflated. It’s really affecting their profit margins.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 1:13 PM on October 11, 2022 [3 favorites]

I see that Trader Joe’s wasn’t able to give you much information on the items you asked about, but I’d definitely continue to ask them because they often can give specifics. A few months ago they were able to tell me that a certain item was having import delays and a few weeks ago they told me that a different item was having manufacturing delays.
posted by maleficent at 3:29 PM on October 11, 2022

Best answer: If it helps any, Serious Eats published a step-by-step knock-off recipe for Carr's Ginger Lemon Cremes a while back.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:13 PM on October 11, 2022 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you all for these great answers.

nouvelle-personne, I thoroughly enjoyed the article about the stuffed giraffe.

And Iris Gambol, thank you so much for the recipe! I might just have to give that a try.

Many thanks to each of you!
posted by kristi at 10:37 AM on October 14, 2022

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