Posted: May 18, 2022 / 10:18 AM PDT
Updated: May 18, 2022 / 11:38 AM PDT
San Diego: If you are a San Diego parent who uses baby formula to feed your child, you know how difficult it has been in recent months to find supplies.
“That shouldn’t have happened. They should have had other sources available,” said Joel Sutherland.
Sutherland is a supply chain expert at the USD Business School. He says it started with frantic parents accumulating formula for babies in 2020, then manufacturers halted production in 2021. More recently, one of the largest suppliers in the United States, Abbott, was shut down amid a withdrawal.
“I don’t know what the market share is for Abbott I, but I know they’re the biggest with about 40%. That’s a major disruption to the supply chain,” Sutherland said.
Walmart is one of the largest formula retailers in the county and now has row after row of empty shelves and restrictions on how you can buy cans of men at once here in San Diego.
As parents struggle to find the product, some dilute it to try to make it last longer; experts say it’s a mistake.
“If you’re used to one brand, you can switch to another. If it’s powdered, you can use concentrate, but you don’t want to dilute it or try to make your own formula,” said Dr. Michelle Leff of UCSD Health. . “The components for entering the formula are very strictly regulated due to the important nature of what they give babies.”
According to recent data, overall, San Diego is seeing a depletion rate of 31.9 percent of all infant formula.
A quick online search does find lesser known and more expensive brands available, with these platforms having seen a nearly 1400% increase in traffic in the last two weeks.
Dr. Leff says that if you can’t find formula and your baby is over 6 months old, you can use cow’s milk.
“In the short term, assuming your child also gets other nutrients from solids and you’d like to focus on foods that contain iron at that time because the formula is supplemented with extra iron that you don’t get from whole cow’s milk,” Leff. dit.