Kommersant: retailers fear interruptions in the supply of infant formula

Russian retailers fear disruptions in the supply of infant formula due to a disruption in supply chains amid the military operation in Ukraine, Kommersant writes. According to a source from among the baby food manufacturers, the problem arose not only with dry milk baby food, but also with fruit purees and mixtures with a large proportion of imported components.

Retail chains received a notification from Nestle that the company had one and a half weeks left of raw materials for the production of dry milk formulas. We are talking about mixtures of Nestogen and Nan Optipro. This, according to the newspaper, was reported by representatives of retailers at a meeting in the Ministry of Agriculture on March 4. A representative of Magnit warned at the event that there were serious risks of a shortage of dry formula for children and a significant rise in the price of this product.

Nestle did not respond to Kommersant’s request. Other large manufacturers did the same – Danone (Nutricia brand) and Infaprim (Nutrilak brand). At the same time, the Nutricia website warns that the processing time for orders has increased “due to increased demand”, and some items are out of stock.

Hypermarket chain Lenta said it has stock to meet current demand. Magnit, Auchan, Metro and X5 Group (Pyaterochka, Perekrestok, Karusel and Chizhik) did not respond to the publication’s request. The Ministry of Agriculture acknowledged the presence of “temporary difficulties” with the supply of components from abroad for a number of companies. The department noted that certain problems with logistics are being solved with the help of “promptly changing supply routes” and reorienting to alternative suppliers.

A Kommersant source notes that the difficulties are associated not only with the supply of raw materials, but also with the requirements of suppliers for full prepayment of the order. This is fraught with cash gaps, since retailers pay manufacturers for products only after 45 days, he explained. According to him, the stock of raw materials will last at best for a month and a half, after which there may be problems with the availability of baby food in retail.

At the same time, baby food is in high demand: an interlocutor of the publication among large retailers said that over the past week, sales of dry mixes have increased by 250%. According to him, the available stocks will be enough for three to four weeks.

According to another source, retail chains have begun to increase orders, but not all suppliers are able to meet demand. Another retailer did not rule out that some chains may respond to the growth in demand by limiting sales of baby food to one hand. The Ministry of Industry and Trade previously allowed retail chains to limit the sale of a number of socially significant goods to one hand in order to combat speculators. X5 Group has already adopted this measure for sugar, sunflower oil and cereals.

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