Smucker’s is a popular brand known for making jams, jellies, peanut butter, and syrups. Recently, some consumers have noticed that Smucker’s syrup products seem to be missing from store shelves, leading them to wonder if the company has stopped production. This article will examine if Smucker’s has indeed halted syrup manufacturing.
Has Smucker’s Discontinued Syrups?
At this time, there is no indication that Smucker’s has permanently discontinued making syrups. The Smucker’s website still lists syrup products like Smucker’s pancake syrup, Smucker’s caramel syrup, and Smucker’s strawberry syrup. Additionally, Smucker’s published a press release on November 1, 2023 stating that the company was experiencing temporary supply chain issues leading to inventory shortages for certain products, including syrups. However, they reiterated their commitment to restocking syrups and other products as quickly as possible.
So while Smucker’s syrups may currently be hard to find in some stores, this appears to be a temporary situation. Smucker’s has expressly stated they have not halted or discontinued syrup production. The shortages are due to supply chain disruptions likely related to sourcing ingredients, manufacturing, and transportation. They are actively working to get syrup back on shelves in full stock as soon as possible.
Why Are Smucker’s Syrups Hard to Find Right Now?
Though Smucker’s insists they are still making syrups, widespread shortages have led consumers to speculate what’s causing the lack of inventory. There are a few likely reasons for the current difficulties in finding Smucker’s syrup:
– Supply chain issues – Like many food manufacturers, Smucker’s is dealing with disruptions across its supply chain networks. Difficulty obtaining ingredients, packaging materials, and other necessary components is slowing output. Transportation bottlenecks and labor shortages also constrain distribution and production capacity.
– High demand – Even with supply challenges, Smucker’s reports that demand for their products remains high. More consumers working and eating breakfast at home during the pandemic led to increased syrup usage. Demand may be outstripping what slowed production can supply until supply chain issues improve.
– Stockpiling – Images of empty store shelves and concern over shortages can prompt some consumers to purchase more than usual. Stockpiling further depletes inventories making the shortage appear worse.
– Seasonal factors – Fall and winter holidays see greater pancake and waffle consumption, raising the demand for syrups. Smucker’s may be struggling to increase production fast enough to meet seasonal spikes on top of already strong demand.
So in summary, while Smucker’s is still making syrup, various inventory and supply chain factors are temporarily limiting quantities available to retailers. Manufacturing and distribution is slowed while demand has simultaneously increased.
What Smucker’s Syrups are Hardest to Find?
Based on consumer reports and checking online grocery listings, the Smucker’s syrup products hardest to find during the shortages include:
– Smucker’s Original Pancake Syrup – Their standard 24 oz original syrup seems to be the most impacted. Being their most popular syrup, temporary shortfalls are very noticeable to shoppers.
– Smucker’s Specialty Syrups – Flavored syrup varieties like maple and blueberry have lower production rates to begin with. These specialty batches are likely disproportionately affected.
– Smucker’s Caramel and Strawberry Syrups – These less common flavors are being described as difficult to find by shoppers looking to make flavored drinks and desserts.
– Smucker’s Sugar Free Syrup – With a smaller consumer base, declines in production volume have an outsized effect on sugar free availability. Diabetics and low sugar dieters report issues finding this version.
On the other hand, Smucker’s high margin offerings seem less affected:
– Smucker’s Maple Syrup – Pure maple syrup continues to be available, though prices may be higher as suppliers pass on input costs.
– Smucker’s Limited Edition Flavors – Unique flavors like pumpkin spice appear stocked for seasonal demand. Their limited runs and higher prices insulate from broader shortages.
So standard Smucker’s breakfast syrups in high demand are the hardest to find right now. Niche products have avoided the worst of the shortages so far.
When Will Smucker’s Syrup Supply Recover?
Smucker’s has not provided exact timetables for when syrup inventory levels will return to normal across all retailers. However, we can make some educated guesses based on their statements:
– As of November, Smucker’s stated they were addressing the shortages and working to “get shelves back to normal”
– Availability seems to be slowing improving, though still limited, indicating efforts are underway.
– Holiday demand will likely prolong shortages through December and early 2023.
– Smucker’s pledged to invest and make changes to strengthen its supply chain resilience, which will take time to implement.
– Factors like ingredient and transportation availability are outside of Smucker’s control so total resolution may rely on broader economic shifts.
Taking these factors into account, the most optimistic scenario is that standard Smucker’s syrups see supply approach typical levels by early 2023. Specialty syrups and smaller markets will likely take longer to fully restock. However, supply could remain tight beyond that if inflation, transportation problems, and labor shortages persist across the food industry.
How Can I Find Smucker’s Syrup Right Now?
Until the shortages improve, finding Smucker’s in stores will require persistence, flexibility and luck. Here are some tips that may help locate bottles of Smucker’s syrup:
– Check smaller, independent grocery stores – The supply issues primarily affect large supermarket and warehouse chains. More niche food shops are likely still carrying inventory.
– Ask at pharmacies or convenience stores – Retailers that normally don’t stock food have added grocery items to fill pandemic demand. These under the radar locations may have surplus syrup.
– Shop early in the morning – Stores are most likely to have just restocked syrup right when they open for the day. So start your hunt first thing in the morning.
– Temporary switch brands – Though not ideal, you may have to buy a different brand like Mrs. Butterworth’s or Log Cabin until Smucker’s recovers.
– Order online for delivery – Searching online opens up more options than just your local stores. You can find some syrups available through grocery or restaurant delivery.
– Use syrup substitutes – In a pinch, you can replace syrup with honey, molasses, or fruit juice concentrates. These alternatives can give you a syrup-like flavor.
Staying flexible and trying less conventional sources gives you a better chance at scoring elusive bottles of Smucker’s syrup while supply chain issues get resolved.
Will Smucker’s Syrup Shortages Lead to Price Hikes?
With high demand and tight inventory, basic economics dictates Smucker’s could justify raising prices on their syrups as conditions recover. However, several factors may incentivize them to keep price increases modest:
– Brand reputation – As a mass market brand, gouging or taking advantage of loyal customers during shortages may hurt the trusted Smucker’s name. Large price hikes could damage their image.
– Private label competition – Retailers can turn to their internal private label syrups if name brand prices skyrocket. This will pressure Smucker’s to keep prices reasonable.
– Required investments – Smucker’s is spending heavily to upgrade its supply chain to prevent future shortfalls and will want to recoup those costs. But dramatic jumps in price overnight could frustrate consumers.
– Commodity uncertainty – Key syrup inputs like corn and wheat remain volatile. Smucker’s will likely wait for commodity costs to stabilize before significantly adjusting prices.
The most probable scenario is that we see moderate syrup price increases of 5-15% as conditions improve rather than dramatic doubling or tripling of prices over the short-term. Smucker’s needs to tread carefully in raising prices during the recovery to maintain customer loyalty.
Smucker’s Syrup Shortages – By The Numbers
|Smucker’s US Syrup Sales
Source: Smucker’s Annual Reports
– As shown, Smucker’s saw substantial growth in syrup sales during the pandemic as breakfast and brunch at home increased.
– At the peak in 2021, Smucker’s sold 37 million syrup units, generating over $330 million in revenue.
– This growth makes supply chain interruptions and lost sales during shortages especially painful.
– Once production recovers, Smucker’s will likely aim to recapture this lost growth and revenue.
– However, they will need to balance restoring volumes with not overinflating prices.
Will Smucker’s Permanently Stop Selling Syrup?
Looking beyond the current shortages, is there any chance Smucker’s exits the syrup business entirely in the future? There are a few reasons why a permanent move away from syrup seems unlikely:
– Syrups remain one of Smucker’s major product categories along with jams, peanut butter, and fruit spreads. Syrup sales and profits contribute meaningfully to their bottom line.
– Pancakes and waffles remain a popular breakfast food among children and families who Smucker’s targets with marketing. Syrups are likely to retain stable demand.
– After investing in supply chain improvements during the shortages, Smucker’s will want to leverage those enhancements over an extended period to maximize returns.
– Consumers associate Smucker’s brand with syrup, and dropping the product would risk damaging brand identity and loyalty.
Barring major strategic shifts for the company, the probability of Smucker’s permanently stopping syrup production seems very low. The current shortage is temporary and Smucker’s remains committed to resuming syrup output at full capacity.
What Should I Buy Instead of Smucker’s Syrup?
Until Smucker’s syrups readily return to store shelves, what are some good alternative syrup options to consider?
Mrs. Butterworth’s and Log Cabin – These two brands are the top competitors to Smucker’s and make fairly comparable corn syrup-based products. They are encountering some of the same shortages, but likely have enough diversity in manufacturing and distribution to maintain better stock.
Private Label Store Brands – Retailers like Target, Walmart and Kroger sell their own house brand syrups. With control of their own supply chains, private labels may be more insulated from widespread shortfalls. Quality can vary, but many provide a cost-effective option.
Aunt Jemima – Despite rebranding in 2021, Aunt Jemima remains a major syrup player. Their production capabilities may allow them to ramp up manufacturing to fill gaps left by Smucker’s struggles.
Maple Syrup – 100% pure maple syrup is experiencing shortages and higher prices too, but lesser quality “maple flavored” versions are more available. Maple syrup has the benefit of being an all-natural alternative.
Honey – Another versatile natural option, honey can be drizzled on many breakfast foods in place of traditional syrup. It brings a sweetness and thickness similar to syrup.
Checking lesser known brands, store brands, and creative alternatives can help substitute for Smucker’s until their iconic syrups are back on shelves.
In summary, while Smucker’s syrups have become hard to find over 2022 and 2023, there is no sign Smucker’s has stopped or intends to stop making syrup long-term. Inventory shortages are temporarily stemming from supply chain challenges and unexpectedly high demand. Smucker’s insists it is actively resolving these issues and plans to reinstate full syrup production. Availability is likely to improve over 2023, though possibly not reaching normal levels until early 2024. In the interim, consumers can find Smucker’s syrup through persistence and savvy shopping or choose from a range of comparable alternatives. But pancake and waffle lovers who prefer that Smucker’s taste can rest assured the company remains committed to once again dripping and pouring their famous syrups across breakfast tables nationwide.