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Grocery Chains ‘Nervous’ About Thanksgiving Food Supply as COVID-19 Rates Rise

Plus, soothe yourself with Pizza Hut’s weighted blanket, and more news to start your day

Grocery store shelves with cans of condensed milk, chocolate, pumpkin puree, cranberry sauce, flour Shutterstock

Stores like Walmart, Kroger, and Publix are limiting customer purchases again, and bracing for shortages

As COVID-19 infections continue to rise, Americans are stockpiling their pantries again, and grocery chains are back to implementing tactics employed at the beginning of the pandemic. According to NBC, Kroger, Publix, and H-E-B have all limited purchases of staples like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and paper towels to ensure more people get what they need. But chains are also looking ahead to see which products might be affected by the supply chain and increased demand, with breakfast foods and Thanksgiving sides topping the list.

Which supplies are being limited is an interesting look into regional spending. H-E-B is limiting customer purchases of brisket and frozen chitterlings, while Wegman’s has limited its store-brand peanut butter. Brookshire’s is capping instant ramen at two cases per customer, according to Yahoo.

Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner says the megachain has seen stress in “jelly, bacon and breakfast foods,” and that the can shortage is still affecting many goods. There’s also the encroaching holidays, something stores didn’t have to brace for back in March. “We’re nervous about spices and we’re nervous about stuffing,” said Furner. “So, I urge everyone that if you’re going to host a Thanksgiving feast, you might want to go to the store sooner rather than later.”

Also, please do not host a Thanksgiving feast outside of your bubble!

And in other news...

  • Chipotle is running a contest on TikTok, where if two judges like your personalized go-to order enough, you’ll win $10,000. [Delish]
  • Italians are rediscovering the Moka pot, a delightful device for making coffee. [Sprudge]
  • Pizza Hut is selling a weighted blanket that’s shaped like a pan pizza for $150, because you were already planning to spend winter on the couch immobile from pizza so you might as well make it a reality. [NRN]
  • A coalition of conservative and progressive food, farming and environmental groups have formed the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance, and released recommendations on fighting climate change. [Modern Farmer]
  • Mars bought Kind North America, so your nut bar is even more like candy now. [Fooddive]
  • Pepsi has made apple pie cola, if that’s what you’re into. [CNN]
  • California voters who regret voting in favor of Prop 22, which denies benefits to food delivery drivers (among others), warn of similar proposed laws, supported by companies like Uber an DoorDash, that are appearing around the country. [WaPo]
  • Beyond Meat is launching plant-based minced pork in China. [CNN]

All AM Intel Coverage [E]

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