US faces shortage of (getting more expensive) tampons

The large shortage of baby food in the United States has not yet been resolved, but American consumers now have a new problem with it. In many states, they have been struggling to get tampons for weeks. Due to a series of supply chain problems, store shelves for tampons are virtually empty.

Two weeks ago, the American magazine Time published an article about the deficit, which has been increasing in recent months. The leading manufacturer of tampons in the United States, Procter & Gamble, initially knows the problem with commercials with comรฉdienne Amy Schumer. Because of these commercials, the popularity of their Tampax brand increased significantly.

However, that doesnt explain why other tampon brands are often sold out, Time wrote. It is now clear that Procter & Gamble, which makes half of all tampons sold in the US, is struggling with major supply chain problems.

Expensive cotton, no staff

The company recently informed shareholders that it can be difficult for materials to make tampons with. These include cotton, rayon (viscose) and plastic for packaging – raw materials that almost all have to come from Asia and Europe. Shipping these raw materials is currently expensive and time-consuming due to a shortage of shipping containers and port employees. In the US itself, there is also a major shortage of truck drivers to supply stores.

Edgewell, another major manufacturer of tampons in the US, says in US media that it has a staff shortage at the factory that makes o.b. tampons. More labor is not readily available: according to US law, tampons are a medical product and therefore only specifically trained employees are allowed to work at the factory.

Drug store chains CVS and Walgreens confirmed to the New York Times earlier this month that they have shortage of tampons in their stores. Procter & Gamble informed the newspaper that these shortages are only โ€œtemporaryโ€, but could not say how long women still face virtually empty shelves. Some media reports that customers are hoarding tampons in the meantime.

Due to the scarcity and the taxation of higher prices for raw materials, tampons in the US are now around 10 percent more expensive than they were a year ago, says market researcher NielSeniq. US Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan has in a letter called on manufacturers not to charge extortionate prices for tampons and resolve deficits as soon as possible.

Dutch stores well stocked

In the Netherlands, the problem does not seem to be at play as yet. At Ahold, there is no shortage of tampons. โ€œNeither at Etos nor Albert Heijn,โ€ says a spokesperson.

Kruidvat tells DecceIt stores are well supplied, โ€œand we see no signs that there could be a shortage of tampons. Also not in Belgium,โ€ says the spokesperson.