As COVID-19 cases spike across the country, grocery stores again limit sale of toilet paper, paper towels

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Tuesday, November 10, 2020
As COVID-19 cases rise, stores again limit sale of toilet paper
Grocery story chain Kroger announced on Monday it's bringing back product limits to help prevent shortages.

As COVID-19 cases surge again across the country, shoppers are stocking up and stores are putting limits on certain items.

Experts say shoppers fear another round of shortages in stores in the coming months.

"We absolutely are starting to see shortages again," Mike Brackett, founder & CEO of Centricity Insights, a company focused on cloud-based customer analytic platforms, told Good Morning America.

Grocery story chain Kroger announced on Monday it's bringing back product limits to help prevent those shortages. The company is limiting purchases of toilet paper, paper towels, disinfecting wipes and hand soap to two per customer.

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We're just weeks away from Thanksgiving and if you've visited the grocery store lately, you might've noticed the turkey tubs were empty. No need to get in a 'fowl' mood.

Grocer H-E-B is also putting limits on paper products and disinfectant wipes in some of its stores.

"We think that there's going to be a lot of limits, that retail level that will hopefully help mitigate that, too, earlier to allow the lack of stockpiling that we saw before," said Brackett.

While experts say it's unclear yet if they'll see shortages, they have seen an early surge in holiday mainstays -- especially those that are nonperishable, like boxed stuffing and canned goods.

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Another category still seeing a boom: spices.

"The spice category is absolutely gone through the roof," Brackett said. "So we believe that during this pandemic, there's been a totally different buying pattern and really generation that started to cook a lot more than they used to due to necessity."

But don't panic. It's imperative to plan and be prepared. Experts said to focus on the nonperishables and frozen items that will last you through the holidays and those staples -- toilet paper, paper towels, etc. -- will be more available this time around because of how retailers are preparing.