June 1, 2023


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These are the products that will be scarce in supermarkets in 2023

4 min read

In this 2023, the global food supply faces a discouraging scenario.

The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, recently warned that the world is on the way to an “acute food catastrophe” and that there are five places in danger of experiencing severe famine.

The outlook is so dire that not even pampered consumers in the United States and Europe will be spared going to the supermarket and returning without having bought everything on their list.

Economists describe that there is a set of elements that have developed the conditions for a kind of perfect storm to break out in the food sector. The Covid-19 pandemic is far from being controlled. The arrival of the boral winter has unleashed a wave of infections in China that could reach 4 million daily, although the official figures are around 4,000.

Another element that unbalanced the global food sector was Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, two of the main food producers on the planet. The war interrupts the processes of production and export of food such as wheat, corn and barley, in addition to cutting off the world supply of fertilizers, essential for agriculture in countries with worn-out soils.

All these events occur in periods of extreme weather situations such as prolonged droughts in Europe and floods in Australia. The consulting firm McKinsey has forecast that the next food crisis could be worse than those of 2007-2008 and 2010-2011.Here is a list of the products that will be more difficult to find in the supermarket in 2023, so that it does not catch you off guard. 

 1.  Sunflower and palm oil With 53.1% and 19.1% of world production, Ukraine and Russia are the main producers of sunflower seeds and oil. According to the firm Brookings, with the interruption in the supply chains of edible oil, the prices shot up even more than the prices of cereals. Simultaneously, in April 2022, the Indonesian government briefly banned the export of palm oil, which shook international markets because it is the world’s leading producer of this industry. Ian Mitchell, senior policy researcher and co-director of development cooperation in Europe at the Center for Global Development told Devex publication, “If countries apply export bans, there is a significant risk that others will do the same, which which will mean that farmers will not respond to higher producer prices with increased supply, which will exacerbate and prolong the crisis for all consumers.”

2.  Bread Of the cereals consumed in the world, 20% are produced by Russia and Ukraine. The war has affected Ukrainian crops and their production will decrease by up to 45%. So it is not surprising that bakeries and large industrial factories have difficulties obtaining ingredients in sufficient quantities to maintain their current bakery supply. Some markets in the United States are resorting to their last resort: rationing one bag of wheat flour per family. Rich Llahvic, owner of the Montana Gold Bread Company, told NBC12 that high prices and limited resources have made bread production difficult. Not only will there be a shortage of bread, but it will also be more expensive because companies will be forced to pass on the high prices of the raw material to their customers.  

3.  Corn The versatile food we love in Latin America could also be in short supply in supermarkets. The United States Department of Agriculture, in early December, cut world corn production estimates for the 2022/2023 harvest, mainly due to the sharp decline in volumes in Ukraine and Russia.World corn production will be reduced by 6.5 million tons. Of that total, 4.5 million tons is what Ukraine will stop producing, minus another million that Russia does not generate either. The United States, China and Brazil are the main producers of the grain and a slight reduction in production is also expected there due to climatic difficulties and access to fertilizers.  

4.  Beer, canned food, pet food Beer may not be an essential product in the basic family basket, but surely many will be nervous to learn that beer is on the list of products that could be in short supply in 2023. The main reason is the shortage of a key ingredient for the production of the popular drink: carbon dioxide, the gas that gives it consistency, makes it bubble and prevents it from having a rancid taste. The shortages are because the pandemic has caused problems at ethanol and ammonia plants, where carbon dioxide is produced as a by-product. It also doesn’t help that there is a shortage in the United States of aluminum, necessary for the production of the cans in which beer is packaged and sold. The scarcity of the metal will carry over to everything you used to buy in cans, such as peas, sauces, snacks and food for your pets.

5.  Champagne The exaggerated increase in global demand for champagne, as well as problems in the supply chain and logistics are contributing to the shortage of this drink. Supply chain disruptions brought on by the pandemic have affected champagne bottles, corks and labels, while transportation and logistics delays have delayed shipments. Specialists are exposing Champagne drinkers to try lesser-known varieties that are still on the shelves of supermarkets and liquor stores. 

Faced with this panorama of scarcity of products from the family basket, economists in the sector believe that there are currently market strategies that help many economic sectors to structure their systems such as IRAIC, which thanks to its methods of economic innovation IRAIC develops a large ecosystem in the different sectors on which the global economy is based such as agriculture, livestock, mining, energy, education, finance, banking, trade, health and sports. In this way, small merchants and large companies manage to become an active part of a more solid market with high potential for product and financial growth with international visibility.  

Published by Iraic.info, news and information agency.

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