The infant formula is expected to be available to parents in the coming weeks, but many store shelves remain empty due to shortages due to supply chain issues and product recalls.
The White House on Wednesday announced the shipment of 2 million boxes of Kendamil infant formula from the UK, the equivalent of 3.7 million 8-ounce bottles, starting June 9. Shipments will include approximately 3.2 million bottles of Kendamil Classic Stage 1 and 540,000 bottles of Kendamil Organic.
The Kendamil formula will be distributed by US retailers in stores and online. The first delivery will be available at Target stores in the coming weeks, the White House said.
Additionally, an Australian formula maker plans to ship around 250,000 cans to US stores next week on two planes, according to Kristy Carr, CEO and founder of Bubs Australia. The White House said on Wednesday infant formula flights would take off from Australia on June 9 and 11 and arrive in Pennsylvania and California respectively. The flights will include the equivalent of approximately 4.6 million 8-ounce bottles.
“We hope that at least part of the retail trade [stores] will have our products within days of landing,” Carr said. “Retailers are just as keen to work with us and the Biden administration task force to make sure that happens.”
Last weekend, Nestlé sent more than 38,000 boxes of Gerber Good Start Extensive HA formula to a retailer, but the company did not name the retailer or say if it was available for purchase.
Carr and Tarun Malkani, CEO of Gerber, are among executives of five infant formula companies who will meet with President Biden on Wednesday afternoon to discuss their progress in increasing the supply of infant formula in the United States. .
“We want to make sure we have coverage across the country. We’re going to prioritize areas that need it the most and vulnerable communities,” Carr said.
In “a week or a few weeks,” Bubs plans to send about 250,000 more cans on two more planes, Carr said.
Then, “in the weeks and months to come,” the company will send another 750,000 boxes of formula, for a total of 1.25 million boxes of six types of formula for children up to 1 year old, said she declared.
“It’s the goal of everyone in everything industry, government and retailers do to pull together all of these new initiatives to help American families during this crisis. It’s all about speed to market. That’s been our only goal to be able to support American families in these difficult times,” Carr said.
There are also measures to increase the production of formulas in the United States.
Abbott Nutrition said last week that it plans to resume work at its Sturgis, Michigan plant on June 4, months after it closed. During inspections that lasted January, February and March, US Food and Drug Administration investigators found Cronobacter sakazakii bacteria in several areas inside the plant, and several types of preparations were been recalled.
Once the factory resumes operations, the first batches of the new formula should be available to consumers around June 20. The plant will start with specialized metabolic formulas, other types will come later.
For now, parents are still struggling to find formula.
Datasembly, a company that tracks market trends, reported that 70% of formula products were out of stock at some point during the week ending May 22. Estimates revealed that stock rates were worse than the previous week.
Two retail chains reported no improvement in formula inventory.
CVS spokesman Matt Blanchette told CNN on Tuesday that “our situation has not changed” since last week, and an executive at a supermarket chain in New England said he could s t be several months before there is a change in the supply of infant formula on store shelves. .
“With the delay in the reopening of the [Abbott Sturgis] factory, we hear it will be six to eight weeks; however, as the pipeline fills, especially with the current labor situation and trucking issues, we know it will likely take three to four months before returning to more regular stock conditions,” said Robert Rybick, president and CEO of Geissler’s Supermarkets, which has seven locations in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Most of Nestlé’s Operation Fly Formula shipments last week went to hospitals, home care businesses and WIC programs, according to a Nestlé spokesperson, who did not say whether the product had arrived at its destination.
CNN’s Danielle Herman, Katherine Dillinger, Carma Hassan, Naomi Thomas, Betsy Klein and Nikki Carvajal contributed to this report.