The New York Times declared last week that diapers are the latest pandemic shortage in a piece focused largely on how difficult it has become for parents to afford diapers.
The article did say diapers aren't always in stock on store shelves which is certainly true in at least some places given ongoing problems with shipping and labor shortages. The newspaper cited one mother who said it was difficult to find diapers near her Junction City, Kan. home even before COVID - 19 hit the U.S.
However, Today.com continued to warn that at least 1 in 3 Americans is facing a diaper shortage on Tuesday, as they reported that supply chain issues and rising material costs put parents in a tight spot during the pandemic. The article reported that according to one charity who provides diapers, requests from parents increased 500% during the Pandemic while diaper costs rose 10% during the same time. The article did not give any examples of shortages.
When asked if they were seeing supply chain issues causing diaper shortages, two major manufacturers told FOX Business that they are keeping up with demand.
Overall, we wouldn't expect consumers to be experiencing out of stocks on our products, a spokesperson from Proctor Gamble, who makes Pampers, said. The spokesperson acknowledged that, in isolated cases, it is possible from time to time for a certain size or version to be unavailable. A spokesperson from Kimberly-Clark, which owns Huggies brand, said: “I can confirm there is no shortage of Huggies products and also pointed to the difference between diaper shortages and diaper need”.
Several retailers aren't seeing any problem with diaper supply, either.
When asked if their members were reporting problems keeping diapers in stock, the National Retail Federation told FOX Business in an email. We have not heard anything specific to diapers around supply chain issues at this time. The Wall Street Journal reported in August that diaper prices had increased 12% in the last year, with diaper manufacturers warning they would raise prices due to higher costs of their inputs namely lumber, because wood pulp filler is often used in diapers and oil, because some materials used to make diapers are petroleum-based.
Even if there isn't a shortage of diapers, inflation will take its toll on the price of the product. That makes it more difficult for lower-income folks to afford the item which has exacerbated the problem of diaper need.