Grocery stores were scrambling to keep shelves stocked four days after Super Storm Sandy hit the east coast, but their efforts were hampered by power outages, storm damage and a lack of fuel for trucks.
Many people stocked up on non-perishable items before the storm, but post-storm they're looking to replenish their pantries and the pressure is on for grocery stores and restaurants to keep up with demand.
As gasoline lines grow in the tri-state area, consumers are wondering how suppliers will make deliveries and make sure that food is accessible.
Some of the larger supermarkets have managed to keep shelves full up to this point. Kings Food Market, which operates 24 stores in the New Jersey, is one of them. Currently all Kings supermarkets are open and functioning; some have power, another 8 stores are on generators that use diesel fuel, and a few are selling non-perishable items only. But at all stores some of the most coveted items like water, bread, ice, and wood are flying off the shelves almost as soon as they come in.
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Kings management is working to get supplies from out of state, for example, an 80-pallets ice delivery from Virginia that will be delivered for its New Jersey stores today. Other deliveries of produce, meat, dairy and fish are expected, but can be hit or miss depending on the availability of fuel and traffic conditions.
"We went out of the area, we have ice trucks rolling in from Virginia…You know the stores are stocked with food for customers to eat but everybody's looking for ice, everybody's looking for water, as you can see, we've been ahead of that. On our shelves, We've never been out of water, we've had that for the customers through the pre-planning, and we feel we're fine moving into a possible next storm," said Judy Spires, President and CEO of Kings Food Markets.
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However it all comes down to power. Power generation at the top of the supply chain is key to keep things running smoothly, and it also will impact gasoline distribution.