Grocery store rationing is back, but relax: The supply chain is doing fine

California
The toilet paper was in short supply on Nov. 19, 2020, at a Ralphs supermarket in Calabasas. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

The toilet paper was in short supply on Nov. 19, 2020, at a Ralphs supermarket in Calabasas. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Hard times have returned to the nation’s toilet paper aisles.

With coronavirus cases and lockdowns once again on the rise, shoppers are reverting to the panic-buying patterns of the early days of the pandemic. In response, grocery companies such as Target, Ralphs parent Kroger and Vons parent Albertsons Cos. have reinstated purchase limits on toilet paper, paper towels and cleaning supplies.

But this time, the grocery companies say, they’re putting limits in place specifically to avoid the empty shelves many consumers faced in the spring — and industry experts say the grocers and suppliers are prepared for the winter wave.

“We put the limits on out of caution,” said Kevin Curry, president of Albertsons’ Southern California division, who noted that the current uptick in demand is nowhere near what he saw in March and April. “The supply chain’s in a better position to handle this rush.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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