By Barbara Kollmeyer
Nestlé said Tuesday that it is rushing shipments of baby formulas to the U.S. to assist with a nationwide shortage that began late last year due to supply-chain disruptions.
“We have significantly increased the amount of our infant formula available to consumers by ramping up production and accelerating general product availability to retailers and online, as well as in hospitals for those most vulnerable,” said a statement provided by the Swiss food giant /zigman2/quotes/210131093/delayed NSRGY +0.56% /zigman2/quotes/208115528/delayed CH:NESN -0.41% .
“We are also working through our Parent Resource Center, website, social media and industry groups to help make sure essential information is available for those parents and caregivers seeking it,” the statement added.
The company said in particular it has rushed supplies of Gerber Good Starts Extensive HA powder infant formula from the Netherlands and of Alfamino from Switzerland.
“We prioritized these products because they serve a critical medical purpose as they are for babies with cow’s milk protein allergies. Of note, both products were already being imported but we moved shipments up and rushed via air to help fill immediate needs,” the company said.
Among other steps, Nestlé said it was running formula factories at capacity, accelerating product availability for retailers and hospitals and online, airfreighting products produced outside the country, and supporting WIC program states.
WIC, or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, is aimed at protecting the health of women, infants and children up to age 5 in low-income brackets who are at nutrition risk.
Parents of babies across the U.S. have been struggling to find supplies of formula, amid inflation, supply chain issues and recalls. The crisis was exacerbated when formula maker Abbott Nutrition — a unit of Abbott Laboratories /zigman2/quotes/203724446/composite ABT -0.34% — recalled products in February.
Abbot and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a deal Monday to restart production of baby formula at a U.S. plant that has been shut over recalls.
Addressing the crisis last week and promising steps aimed at alleviating shortages, President Joe Biden said : ‘There’s nothing more urgent we’re working on than that right now.”