John Catsimatidis, CEO of the New York-based supermarket chain Gristedes, warned in an interview on Monday that the Omicron variant of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus could cause shortages of meat and eggs in the upcoming months.
“[A]s Omicron grows, and it’s gonna grow over the next two to four to five to six weeks, Omicron is taking its toll at different levels of the supply chain, whether it’s the warehouses, whether its the selectors, the drivers, the loaders—and as they call in sick, there’s interruptions in the system,” Castimidis said during an appearance on Fox and Friends.
“Now, right here in the Northeast where our stores are located, we have multiple suppliers, where the national chains in the Midwest have one or two, or one main supplier. And what’s happening is, if those suppliers are short on product because of the situation of people being out because of the Omicron, then they’re gonna have interruptions. What we’re seeing in the Northeast is price increases.”
Catsimatidis’ analysis highlights the ways in which supply chain disruptions have affected different regions asymmetrically. In poorly serviced or isolated rural communities, supply chain issues have manifested as scarcity of certain products, whereas well-serviced regions such as the Northeastern megalopolis experience inflated prices as food distributors attempt to manipulate demand. However, the results are to varying degrees universal: consumers are finding it harder, whether due to financial or distributive barriers, to access the products they desire.