In a statement Reckitt Benckiser said, it is boosting its production of baby formula by about 30% and increasing the frequency of deliveries to stores in order to mitigate a shortage in the U.S. supermarkets.
The company which makes the baby formula in three US facilities in Michigan, Indiana and Minnesota, said it has granted plants “unlimited overtime” to put in extra shifts.
Baby formula aisles at US supermarkets have been emptied by parents following a recall by Abbott Laboratories in February after complaints of bacterial infections.
The recall exacerbated a shortage of formula that started in late 2021, forcing US supermarkets including Target Corp, and Walgreens Boots Alliance to limit sales.
The Biden Adminstration’s economic and foreign policies have led to a runaway inflation, a hike in gasoline prices and an overall rise in the cost of living.
Prior to Abbott’s recall, Reckitt supplied a little over a third of the U.S. infant formula market compared with Abbott’s roughly 44%. Britain-based Reckitt’s market footprint now accounts for more than 50% of total baby formula supply in the United States.
“We normally might pack an entire truck before we ship it. For timeliness, we’re not doing that. We’re packing it with as much product as we have and then we’re just getting it out the door,” said Cleveland.
According to data from Datasembly, nearly 40% of baby formula products are out of stock nationwide.
Earlier on Monday, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) outlined a process by which the agency would not object to the importation of certain infant formula products intended for a foreign market.
With midterm elections in November, the Biden Administration is under pressure to perform. Last week, Biden met executives from infant formula manufacturers and retailers, and pressed them to do everything possible to get families access amid a nationwide shortage.
“The White House started asking us if they could work on some of the inputs to our manufacturing process,” said Cleveland.