Shortage of tampons in 2022? Tampax and Kotex makers weigh in

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Global supply chain shortages could occur for your monthly cycle.

If you’ve been struggling to find your favorite stamp – or stamps in general – lately, you’re not alone. Anecdotal reports of tampon shortages have slowly spread across social media for months, with many consumers taking to Twitter to vent their frustration.

Since the start of the pandemic, product shortages have followed one another. From the great toilet paper crisis of 2020 to the current infant formula conundrum, consumers have faced empty shelves and rising prices for more than two years.

And now, tampons appear to be the latest casualty of an increasingly stressed global supply chain system. Average prices for tampons have increased by 9.8% over the past year and prices for sanitary napkins have increased by 8.3%, largely due to increased costs of paper and plastic materials used to make them, according to Bloomberg.

TODAY wanted to know the extent of the problem, so we contacted several manufacturers of feminine hygiene products to get an idea of ​​how they deal with potential shortages.

A spokesperson for Procter & Gamble — which makes Tampax and Always and claims nearly 50% of the market for menstrual care supplies, according to Bloomberg — declined to elaborate on any tampon shortages and did not say whether its other feminine hygiene products were affected. They did, however, acknowledge that the company was experiencing increased demand and said they were aware that many customers were struggling to find tampons in stores and online.

“We understand that it is frustrating for consumers not to find what they need. Our Tampax team produces tampons 24/7 to meet the increased demand for our products,” reads an email to TODAY. (P&G recently made headlines for a statement to Time magazine that demand for its product has skyrocketed since launching its Tampax ad campaign with Amy Schumer in 2020.)

A spokesperson for AU by Kotex (owned by Kimberly Clark) said in an email that the brand hasn’t actually experienced any product or supply shortages in the US and stressed that the company ” works diligently to make its products readily available to our consumers.”

“We are working closely with our retail partners to keep shelves stocked, and U by Kotex® remains on track to donate over 6 million menstrual supply products to the Alliance for Period Supply. this year as part of efforts to address menstrual poverty.”

Edgewell Personal Care, which makes Playtex and OB tampons, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

What is causing the shortage of tampons in 2022?

Bindiya Vakil, CEO of AI-powered supply chain data monitoring company Resilinc, told TODAY that there are two main causes of low product supply on store shelves: supply chain problems and a shortage of raw materials.

“Key materials used in production and packaging, such as plastic and paper, are very limited,” she said. “In fact, paper shortages are impacting packaging in almost every industry. Feminine care products seem to be the most recent obvious victim.”

Vakil explained that the paper industry has been experiencing supply problems for two years now.

“From being able to source the raw materials used for these products, then getting them to where they need to go for production, and finally loading them onto trucks to get to store shelves – every step of that process is currently experiencing disruptions,” she said. .

Vakil said she expects shortages, constraints, and higher prices (on most items, not just tampons) through 2023. In the meantime, if you’re struggling to find your favorite tampons, there are many alternative options to help you. cross your rules.

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