Is There an Uncrustables Shortage?

This is the last thing parents of picky eaters need to hear.

While most of us are well aware of the toilet paper and baby formula shortages caused by the COVID pandemic, there have been numerous other products affected as well. In fact, supply chain issues, disruptions to labor, and other economic factors wreaked havoc on many businesses. These factors lead to a wide variety of products missing from store shelves. One such case is a kid-favorite lunch staple: Uncrustables.

In the fall of 2021, the supply of Uncrustables suddenly became quite thin in multiple areas of the country. This caused many parents of picky eaters nationwide to scramble to find their child's favorite (or only) lunch. Learn more about the Uncrustables shortage.

What Are Uncrustables?

For the unfamiliar, Uncrustables are crust-free foods produced by The J.M. Smucker Company, or Smucker's. The peanut butter and jelly ones are perhaps the best known, but there are also other varieties, like pepperoni bites. Uncrustables are a dream for busy parents and picky eaters, as the product makes lunch quick and easy to prepare and kids don't need to contend with the dreaded sandwich crust.

An image of Uncrustables.
Getty Images.

You're usually able to find Uncrustables in most big-box grocery stores and retail establishments around the country, like Target and Walmart. But social media began sounding the alarm in 2021 about a potential shortage—and the scarce supply continued in some locations for months.

What Caused the Uncrustables Shortage?

The Uncrustables shortage seems to have started with a Facebook post in September 2021, in which Uncrustables was promoting its Uncured Pepperoni Bites. But a few parents had some other things on their minds.

"How about Uncrustables and Smucker's [get their acts] together and start getting strawberry Uncrustables back in distribution. My kiddo is sensory sensitive, and that is the only thing he eats for lunch," wrote one person. "This has been months now. Figure it out and get them back in stores."

"Would love to try [the pepperoni bites] but [can't] find them in stores. Can't even find the PB&J. Why?" asked another.

Twitter started buzzing about a potential Uncrustables shortage too, with one user going as far as to call it a full-blown crisis.

"The Uncrustables shortage is the crisis no one is talking about," the person wrote.

"@Uncrustables: Is there a shortage in PA?? Trying to maintain a happy home here…help a Dad out," tweeted a frustrated father.

Is There Still an Uncrustables Shortage?

Uncrustables are back in stores. So, why did it happen and was there really a massive Uncrustables shortage, or was it more of a localized issue? It's tough to tell. Early in the pandemic, the J.M. Smucker Co. paused new product launches and reduced production of some items, including Uncrustables' peanut butter varieties, to ensure higher-demand products stayed on the shelves. But the brand has since resumed normal production.

Uncrustables has addressed the issue with some of its customers on social media to assure them they'll see their kids' favorite food back on the shelves soon. In one tweet, the brand wrote, "We are currently prioritizing the production of high-demand Uncrustables flavors. At this time, we hope to have all of our flavors back on store shelves soon but suggest speaking with the manager at your preferred retailer for the best availability information locally."

The Bottom Line

It can create unwelcome challenges when the products your family counts on are suddenly no longer easily available. The case of the missing Uncrustables is yet another example, which caused some parents to really scramble when trying to make lunches and keep their kids smiling. We hear you—it was rough when there weren't any on the shelves! The good news is that the Uncrustables shortage seems to have abated. So, you'll likely find them fully stocked at your local grocery store.

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