Coronavirus impact: Grocery store shelves may be getting fuller with some products easier to find after panic buying frenzy

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- Remember grocery shopping before the novel coronavirus pandemic? Before the panic buying and empty store shelves? We're not back there yet, but there are early signs that things are improving.

RELATED: Bay Area sees produce shortage after Safeway employee at Tracy distribution center dies from coronavirus complications

It's still a roll of the dice that you'll find everything you want at the local grocers.

Alison Gordon hasn't been able to buy flour for three weeks. Other products are hit and miss.

"You know it just depends on what time of the day you go in and what days. Sometimes I can go into stores and there's very little produce and other times I go in and it's loaded," Gordon said.

And for grocers, good luck getting re-stocked when COVID-19 cases started to explode.

"First it was nothing," said Joe Trimble, owner of Encinal market in Alameda. But now he says it's getting a little easier to replenish supplies.

"I do believe the supply chain is catching up with demand. I don't know how long it's going to take to completely catch up," Trimble said.

RELATED: Bay Area grocery store workers fear for their safety

In a statement, the California Grocers Association agreed saying, "In general the supply is stable and returning to normalcy as quickly as possible." And that "many products that had been in short supply (like toilet paper) are beginning to be seen more on store shelves."

Encinal Market is getting more toilet paper but they still can't keep it on shelves. But eggs which were tough to get are now plentiful."

Trimble says in early January it was easy to find everything he needed from suppliers. But, now - They're getting in more toilet paper but they still can't keep it on shelves.

"Eggs which were tough to get are now plentiful," Trimble added.

RELATED: Here's how to preserve groceries longer as White House warns some to avoid store, pharmacy for next 2 weeks

"As far as what's coming into the store, I'd say the fill rate is between 35 and 50%."

Trimble says that's better than 25% fill rate a couple of weeks ago.

If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.
Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.