The Tampon Shortage is Real

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And what happens when there are supply-chain problems, staffing shortages and more? Companies jack up the prices. That’s capitalism — not just menstrual capitalism. Of course, what makes the shortage of menstrual products especially salient is that alternative products (like menstrual cups or period underwear) can be expensive, impractical, or unusable by some people. Check out Time Magazine’s coverage of “The Great Tampon Shortage of 2022” here.

Here is an excerpt:

“To put it bluntly, tampons are next to impossible to find,” says Michelle Wolfe, a radio host in Bozeman, Montana, who wrote a piece on her radio station’s website in March about not being able to find tampons in Montana. “I would say it’s been like this for a solid six months.” * * *

Increased demand, staffing shortages, raw material shortages—none of these factors are unique to tampons. Yet what makes the tampon shortage so persistent and problematic is that unlike most other items that the supply chain has made it hard to access, tampons are not something women can stop buying until supplies return. You may be annoyed that your couch delivery is delayed or that you still can’t find your favorite running shoes, but you can wait—or buy something else. Women get their period every month, and if they’ve used tampons for their entire adult lives, they need tampons.

The fact that women will keep trying to find tampons, even if the shelves are empty and prices are rising, has allowed companies to increase the prices of feminine care products. Procter & Gamble said in April 2021 that it would increase prices on baby care, feminine care, and adult incontinence products. Then, in April of this year, it said it would again raise prices on its feminine care products. P&G posted its biggest sales gain in decades in the most recent quarter, and the amount of money it made from sales in its feminine care division was up 10%.

Read the full article here.

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