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Labor, supply shortages affecting holiday grocery shoppers in Central Oregon

'Labor and raw materials and, you name an issue, it's going on right now' - but customers voice thanks for what's in stock

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Food 4 Less is a locally owned grocery store preparing for the holiday season, but there are some items it's prepared to run out of.

Store Director Aaron Price has been working in the grocery business for 30 years.

“And this is by far the most trying and most difficult holiday season I’ve ever had to navigate,” Price said Friday. 

He said manufacturers are stopping production of a large number of items, and if you don’t buy in bulk ahead of time, like Price did, you’re out of luck.

“Our issues with running out of product, pretty limited so far,” Price said. “There's going to be things as we go along that will run out.”

One employee told NewsChannel 21 he’s been restocking turkeys and other Thanksgiving items pretty much all day.

Price says items like broth, canned pumpkin, canned cranberry and other seasonal items are already out of production.

The explanation he gets from the manufacturers, Price said he and others businesses can relate to.

“Labor and raw materials and -- you name an issue, it's going on right now,” Price said.


He said a lack of workers and ingredients coming in is leading manufacturers to make tough choices.

“So what they’re having to do is pick the items that they’re going to focus on and make those items, while sacrificing some ... the other ones they don’t sell as much,” Price said. 

Price said his store has actually seen more customers lately, thanking him for having products on the shelves.

“We're starting to hear that again, so it's always nice to hear positive, you know," he said. "So in this industry, sometimes you -- typically what you hear is the negative, so it's nice to hear a lot of positive.” 

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Noah Chast

Noah Chast is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Noah here.


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