Tampon 'turbulence' is causing Instacart's personal shoppers to struggle to find the item in stores

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Tampon 'turbulence' is causing Instacart's personal shoppers to struggle to find the item in stores
Boxes of Tampax tampons. The manufacturer, Procter & Gamble, said it was working to "ramp up" production.Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images.
  • As the tampon shortage grows, Instacart said it's seeing "tampon turbulence" as customers stock up.
  • As searches for tampons rise on the app, the fulfillment rate has dropped to early pandemic levels.
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As the tampon shortage continues to grow, grocery delivery apps are feeling it too.

CNN Business first reported that Instacart saw a 13% increase in searches for the product last week from the week prior.

While demand grows, personal shoppers on the platform are having a harder time finding tampons, with the rate of order fulfillments dropping to 67% as of June 19, the lowest since April 2020, according to Instacart.

More Instacart users are stocking up, and tampon sales on Instacart are up by 29% week-over-week as more women learn of the shortage, Instacart said.

Instacart's trend expert and senior product manager, Laurentia Romaniuk, said in a statement also shared with Insider, that the grocery delivery app is starting to see "tampon turbulence" as the shortage grows, "with purchasing behavior beginning to rival that of the beginning of the pandemic as customers adopt stock-up behavior."

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Romaniuk said Instacart users can see detailed information of a specific store's availability of tampons. "If our algorithm detects that tampons in your chosen store may be low, we'll alert you when you place an order and give you the option to select a replacement," the statement said.

The tampon shortage is among the growing list of consumer products being affected by supply-chain issues.

Russia's war in Ukraine is disrupting cotton supply since both countries are major fertilizer exporters. A drought in Texas and an increase in supply costs for petroleum-based polymers used in some tampons are also contributing to the shortage.

In a statement shared with Insider, Proctor & Gamble said the shortage "is a temporary situation, and the Tampax team is producing tampons 24/7 to meet the increased demand for our products." The statement continued on to say that P&G is working with its retail partners to make the products more available.

CVS and Walgreens also confirmed to Insider that tampon shortages were affecting some of its stores around the US.

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In a statement shared by CNN Business, market research company IRI said the week ending with June 12 saw retailers 92.5% in stock with tampons.

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