Baby formula shortage forces metro Detroit retailers to limit purchases

A Mom Called 911 Because She Needed Formula For Her Baby And Police Officers Brought It To Her Home
Posted at 12:54 PM, Apr 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-14 18:46:15-04

(WXYZ) — Supply chain issues have been an ongoing problem during the pandemic. And now, even infants are being impacted by the shortages.

"A couple weeks ago, I went to the store and I couldn't find my baby formula. We use Similac Prosensitive. So, I went to another store. There was even less formula on the shelves and by the time I got to the third store and saw that there's literally no formula of any brand on the shelves, I started to have a hot panic," mother Elyssa Schmier said.

She says she first noticed a baby formula shortage back in February when going to purchase some for her 7-month-old boy Joey.

Schmier said she had stocked up prior to the recall.

"I had basically a stockpile of around eight canisters because I've always thought I had an irrational fear that it would be hard to find baby formula," she said. "Unfortunately, that's become a reality."

Those cans she had bought needed to be returned because they were also a part of that recall.

Schmier, who's the vice president of governmental affairs and national budget for MomsRising, reached out to other moms online, asking them if their experience was similar to hers.

"And all these people started to weigh in and say, 'Yes, yes! We can't find it.' And it was people all over the country," she said.

According to datasembly, there is a 31% out-of-stock rate this month for baby formula.

That number is up 11% compared to November 2021.

As a result, Walgreens, Target and other retailers are limiting the amount of baby formula customers can purchase in one visit.

Walgreens shared this statement with 7 Action News.

"It can be really stressful for families to hear that there's no food for their baby," pediatrician Dr. Jill Noble said.

Noble says if you're feeding your baby formula, don't stop because of the lack of supply.

She also says not to stretch the formula by adding in too much water. Noble says that's bad for the baby.

"It actually can be quite dangerous to their health, and so please don't do that," she said.