posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 07:01 PM
Having grown up in the small grocer environment (my parents owned a pair of local grocery shops), and having worked for several local grocery chains
for the better part of the the last decade, I can give a little insight into this.
The reason for less food on the shelves is that people have not been spending as lavishly as before. Most stores order their food on a credit system,
so since people have been spending less, they stock less, as it is not beneficial to stock massive quantities of goods that have to be rotated.
You will typically notice this in the perishables; bread products, fresh fish and meat, fruits and veggies; and in the higher priced-lower profit
margin products (and low volume products) such as fine liquors, top shelf spirits, caviar, imported cheeses and meats, and fruits and veggies from
distant areas (bananas, pineapples, coconuts, and mangoes in Canada, for example)
I included the top shelf spirits and fine liquors because most stores don't move too many bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, and in tight times
such as now, if they move their entire stock, many stores will not restock right away until they are asked, as the money that could be put towards
buying a case of JWBlue can stock alot of other goods that people are more likely to buy, such as toilet paper and rice and canned foods
("opportunity cost" for you economic minds out there).
There isn't a shortage at the moment, but due to the lowered spending, and thus the lowered stock at stores, it makes it so much easier to empty a
store out, which could create a panic that could theoretically sweep the nation, especially if it is a slow news day for MSM. The funny thing is,
despite the panic, as long as the credit market stays fluid, the stores will be restocked in a couple of days. The only things right now that would
bring about a food crisis would be the obstruction of the transportation side, from port/field to market, or on the finance side, if the banks freeze
up the credit markets.
I think the truckers will just be happy to have jobs, and the price of oil is down, so we should be okay on that side. Now if only we had thought to
put protections to insure that credit is continually available, especially for small businesses, in a certain legislative act just passed instead of
tax breaks for wooden toy arrowheads.
Just my .02