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Explainer: What led to the baby formula shortage and how it’s being tackled

With just a handful of companies producing baby formula in U.S., the market was plunged into disarray when Abott’s plant shutdown in February. The long-term solution includes more than just importing the formula

May 31, 2022 / 02:38 PM IST
Representative Image

Representative Image

Amid a massive shortage of baby formula triggered by production and supply-chain issues, the US has imported tonnes of medically approved baby food from overseas in the last few weeks.

Several media agencies have called attention to the plight of mothers, fathers and caregivers across the US who have struggled to find scarce supplies, or driven across states in panic to buy formula.

What caused the crisis

Only three major players – Abbott, Mead Johnson, and Nestlé (which sells its products under the Gerber brand) – control almost 90 percent of the US market in the baby formula industry since decades.