The Omicron variant is disrupting already stressed food supply chains, infecting so many workers that more shortages at grocery stores are all but certain.
Supermarkets have been struggling to keep food fully stocked throughout the pandemic as a result of labor shortfalls in every part of the food system, from farms to manufacturers to distributors. Now Omicron is bringing the problem to a new level. Schools and daycares are seeing closures again, keeping more Americans from work.
All of that will help fuel wage increases and price surges for consumers, as well as 2020-style food outages.
“We’re already seeing bare shelves,” warned Bindiya Vakil, chief executive officer of supply-chain consultant Resilinc Corp. “Labor shortages due to Omicron are going to exacerbate the issue.”