Formula Update: End of the Shortage May Be in Sight

More formula should hit shelves soon as Abbott Nutrition restarts production and six more Operation Fly Formula planes arrive.
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profile picture of Wyndi Kappes
Assistant Editor
July 12, 2022
Cargo carrying pallets of baby formula are removed from a United Airlines passenger plane arriving from London Heathrow Airport at the Dulles International Airport June 17, 2022
Image: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Hope for an end to the formula shortage is on the horizon! Abbott Nutrition has announced the restart of formula production, and six more Operation Fly Formula planes are expected to land this week. Between these two initiatives and previous formula flights and releases, parents should expect to see most formulas on shelves this week. According to NPR, as of July 3, the in-stock rate for baby formula was 70 percent, with formula expected to reach pre-shutdown levels of 90 percent by the end of the month.

Abbott Nutrition Restarts Formula Production Again Following Flood

The nation’s largest formula manufacturer, Abbott Nutrition, has announced the restart of formula production once again on July 1. After powerful storms hit southwestern Michigan, the company’s Sturgis plant was forced to stop production after only one week back at work following a green light from the FDA.

The initial restart of production happened on June 4 after the plant voluntarily shut down and recalled certain formulas in February following consumer complaints that several babies who had consumed Abbott formula had become sick. The recall and shutdown largely contributed to the ongoing formula shortage.

The company has started production focused on metabolic formulas like EleCare and Alimentum and will then move on to producing Similac and other formulas.

Six More Operation Fly Formula Planes Expected to Land This Week

The US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) reports that six more Operation Fly Formula planes carrying 8 million bottles worth of infant formula will land in America this week. The flights will be the latest in a series of 48 flights that have brought in more than 55 million bottles of formula.

Biden created Operation Fly Formula in May, tasking the Department of Defense and the HHS with sending their planes overseas to pick up much-needed formula. The operation was an extension of his invocation of the Defense Production Act, which allows the president to expedite and expand the supply of materials by requiring government agencies and private companies to take actions in the interest of national defense.

The incoming flights this week will contain a variety of formulas. You can see where the flights are coming from and when certain formulas will arrive here.

In the meantime, if you can’t find the formula you need, check out these 16 Trusted Resources to Help You Find Formula During the Shortage. And if you’re hoping to give back during the crisis, you can find ways to help out here.

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