Omicron puts strain on labor but shoppers warned of panic-buying

Omicron puts strain on labor but shoppers warned of panic-buying

Omicron puts strain on labor but shoppers warned of panic-buying

Empty store shelves are related to the virus pandemic because the new variant is creating labor shortages that are impacting even getting eggs to the grocery store shelves.

Talking about this challenge on Fox News, John Brunnquell of Egg Innovations, Inc. said the industry has witnessed a significant jump in demand.

"And then also our freight distribution, and all of our vendors,” he said, “are also experiencing various challenges in their supply chain, exacerbating the issue."

Fox News heard a similar report from John Catsimatidis, the billionaire owner of the New York City-based Gristedes supermarket chain.  

"Omicron is taking its toll at different levels of the supply chain, whether it’s the warehouses, whether it’s the selectors, the drivers the loaders,” he advised. “And as they call in sick, there are interruptions in the system.”

The fast-spreading Omicron variant has pushed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. to record-breaking numbers --- almost one million on January 7 --- in recent days. That means millions are at home with the virus and putting a strain on various businesses that are attempting to keep the burgers cooking, cash registers manned, and store shelves stocked.

“The hen,” Brunnquell explained, “doesn’t know that it is a slow day or a busy day on the demand side. We receive an egg a day from our hens.”

Brunnquell, a third-generation farmer, said his company is "very blessed” with a “strong, committed workforce” that is being asked to work long hours, including overtime, to keep up with demand.

Brunnquell points out the egg industry experienced challenging times during the first wave of COVID in the U.S., when people were hoarding groceries and that increased the demand.

“We exceeded capacity of our machinery, of our supply chain, and even packaging," said Brunnquell. "People that sold us egg cartons could not keep up with demand."