It seems like every day we hear another story about products that are either facing shortages or seeing price increases. COVID has taken its toll on the workforce and shipping issues continue to affect distribution across the country. But I feel like, for the most part, the shortages we hear about don't really present themselves in Missoula. Although I will say, I've been in search of a couple of different items over the last few weeks and the shelves of every store I've tried in town have been empty.

The quest for manicotti noodles

We were having friends over for dinner about a month ago and my wife was making manicotti. My quest for manicotti noodles took me to Walmart #1, WinCo, Rosauers, Albertson's, Target, and Walmart #2. That's six stores, the entire stretch of Reserve St., and not a single box to be found! Have you noticed any shortages when it comes to pasta noodles? Apparently, as I saw in an Eat This, Not That! article today, some shortages are by design:

Carl Zuanelli, chairman of the National Pasta Association and CEO of Nuovo Pasta, told Slate that pasta producers had to increase their output by roughly 30% in order to keep grocery shelves stocked. Because of the huge increase in demand, they've had to make the type of Sophie's choice that befell most large food producers: temporarily retiring the production of less popular and more complicated products in order to pave the way for increased production of spaghetti and elbow macaroni.

What's the sudden rush on Distilled Water?

Tonight was the second time I ran around Missoula in search of something and could find it anywhere. One of the reasons that women are always like, "Wow, you're so dreamy!" toward me is probably the sexy CPAP machine I have to use at night. It has to be filled with distilled water and any other kind of water is frowned upon because of mineral buildup over time. So off I went to grab a gallon of distilled water and four stores later I gave up. Not a jug to be found! Nothing but empty shelves! I just found it to be weird since I've never had any sort of issue with finding distilled water before.

What about you?

I'll be the first to admit that I don't spend a ton of time in the grocery store so I'm not sure how much Missoula is experiencing any shortages. My wife pretty much does most of our shopping and I'm just the middle of the week pitstop and pick something up guy. Have you noticed things that don't seem to be in stock like they normally are?

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