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Early bird — experts suggest shopping for Thanksgiving early due to supply, staffing shortages

Posted at 11:45 AM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 11:45:31-04

CLEVELAND — Thanksgiving is still two months away, but you may want to start on that turkey day grocery list sooner rather than later.

Experts in the grocery industry suggest getting a head start this year because thanks to problems with the supply chain, there are shortages on everything, and shoppers should also expect higher grocery prices at retailers.

The supply chain has been stretched thin throughout the pandemic and it’s starting to show, as demand has outpaced supply for pretty much everything.

Retail has seen shortages in everything from finished goods to the containers they’re shipped in. When combined with a lack of labor workforce, it has triggered stores to bring in peak holiday items earlier their usual.

Companies have planned on stocking certain items earlier in hopes of alleviating the impact on shoppers.

New York-based supermarket chain Tops Friendly Markets had its order for turkeys placed before Americans even rang in 2021, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Jim Dudlicek, director of communications for the National Grocers Association, explained to "Good Morning America" that while there's plenty of food in the supply chain, "certain items may be harder to get at certain times."

"Shopping early for the holidays is a wise strategy, especially under current conditions," he said. "Consumers should secure those must-haves in a timely fashion to ensure favorites for the holiday table but be mindful of their neighbors and limit their quantities to only what they need."

He also suggested that shoppers reach out to local and independent community grocers with questions about specific holiday needs, availability and if necessary, alternatives.