The United States is facing a nationwide shortage of baby formula. A recent study shows that baby formula shortages hit 30% in April and jumped to 40% by the end of the month, according to Datasembly (opens in new tab). The pandemic, supply chain issues, and a huge product recall have all contributed to the current crisis. As a result, where to buy baby formula is a question most parents are now facing.
The federal government is now working with manufacturers to increase production of baby formula. New legislation could also allow the U.S. to purchase baby formula direct from Mexico, Chile, and Ireland.
In addition, earlier this week baby formula-maker Abbott said it had reached an agreement with the FDA to reopen its largest domestic factory and begin production of baby formula. The plant was closed earlier in the year due to safety issues. Although this will increase the supply of baby formula in the U.S., Abbott says it will take at least six to eight weeks before the baby formula can make it to store shelves.
But it's not all doom and gloom. Depending on where you live, retailers like Target, Amazon, and Walmart still have baby formula in stock and ready to ship. However, supplies are low. So if you're looking for stores where to buy baby formula — here are some spots with stock.
Where to buy baby formula
Depending on where you live, there are still a few online retailers with baby formula stock. You might even spot some Amazon deals if you're fast enough. Here's where you can look to buy baby formula right now.
- Amazon: shop Gerber, Mama Bear, and more (opens in new tab)
- CVS Pharmacy: buy one, get one 50% off (opens in new tab)
- Enfamil: shop direct from Enfamil (opens in new tab)
- Gerber: check current stock @ Gerber (opens in new tab)
- Kabrita: shop goat milk toddler formula @ Amazon (opens in new tab)
- Organics Happy Baby: check stock @ Amazon (opens in new tab)
- Target: shop Enfamil, Similac, and more (opens in new tab)
- Walmart: shop Nestle, Gerber, and more (opens in new tab)
Nestle Nido 3.5-lb: for $18 @ Walmart (opens in new tab)
Walmart has stock of Nestle Nido powdered baby formula. The 56.4-ounce canister contain about 47 servings of Nido. It's available for in-store pickup or delivery.
Gerber Good Start: check stock @ Amazon (opens in new tab)
Amazon has very limited stock of select baby formula, including Gerber Good Start, Burt's Bees Baby Infant Milk, and Nestle Nan Pro.
Enfagrow Premium Powder Toddler Formula: for $26 @ Target (opens in new tab)
Target has stock of the 2-lb. canister of Enfagrow Premium Powder Toddler Formula. The formula is recommended for toddlers 1 year and up.
Enfagrow NeuroPro Toddler Formula 6-Pack: for $11 @ Target (opens in new tab)
Select Target locations have stock of the Enfagrow NeuroPro Toddler Formula 6-Pack for $11. It's available for pickup (within 2 hours) or delivery.
Similac Alimentum Baby Formula 32-oz: for $11 @ Walmart (opens in new tab)
Walmart has stock of this 32-ounce bottle of Similac Alimentum Baby Formula for $11. It's available for in-store pickup or online delivery.
Enfamil Reguline Powder Infant Formula: check stock @ Target (opens in new tab)
Select Target stores have limited stock of Enfamil, Similac Alimentum, and Enfagrow baby formula. You can also check your local store's stock supply online.
How did the baby formula shortage start?
The pandemic caused supply issues across various sectors. Unfortunately, the baby formula industry was not immune to these disruptions. Labor shortages, transportation issues, and parents panic-purchasing baby formula during the initial pandemic lockdown have all contributed to the current environment.
Earlier this year, Abbott Nutrition also recalled three infant formulas (opens in new tab) due to a possible bacterial infection. The recall affected popular brands like Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare. During the FDA's investigation, further issues came to light involving manufacturing problems and bacterial contamination, according to AP News (opens in new tab).
How is the federal government helping?
The Biden administration is working with four companies to increase the production of baby formula (opens in new tab). It's also working with retailers like Walmart and Target to help families find where to buy baby formula.
- Cracking down on price gouging: Unfortunately, there have been reports of consumers stockpiling baby formula and reselling it online at higher prices. As a result, the FDA is calling on retailers to issue buying limitations. Additionally, the DOJ is monitoring retailers who price gouging in the infant formula market.
- Faster restocking of shelves: The type of formula that companies make is impacted by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Half of the infant formula sold is purchased by participants using WIC benefits. The federal government is urging states to allow WIC recipients to use their WIC benefits on a wider variety of products. So if a certain size or type of baby formula is out of stock, WIC recipients can use their benefits to buy baby formulas that is in stock.
- Increasing imports: The U.S. produces 98% of the infant formula it consumes. However, the FDA is working with trading partners in Mexico, Chile, Ireland, and the Netherlands to increase imports of baby formula to the U.S.
Tips for saving on baby formula
- Try new brands: The shortage seems to be affecting some brands, such as Similac, more than others. If stock is low on your usual brands, look for other brands to supplement what you have. You may want to check with your child's doctor before switching brands.
- Buy direct: While it may be more convenient to shop from your local grocer, you might have luck if you buy direct from the baby formula brands. Companies like Gerber and Enfamil allow you to purchase direct from their website.