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Hoard Your Gourd - Pumpkins are in Short Supply

by Julianna Clay
- Posted // 2010-09-13 -

It’s almost that time of year when people become a wee bit fanatical about pumpkins. They show up in lattes, pies, smoothies and even beer. However, this year pumpkin lovers across the United States and Canada are in for a rude awakening. Due to heavy precipitation this spring, it would appear that the orange gourds will be in short supply this year.

Normally, pumpkins are ripening to a rich-orange hue on their vines right now, but this year they are behind throughout the country. It’s especially concerning in the northeastern states, which grow the majority of the pumpkins sold in North America, because the region suffered an uncharacteristically wet spring. This resulted in hefty losses because of seedlings washing away and root rot.

So, this fall, grocery store shelves across the nation have been noticeably empty of canned pumpkin. Nevertheless, people are doing what they can. According to Associated Food Stores spokesman Fermin Espinosa, three truckloads of Libby’s canned pumpkin are on their way to Associated’s Salt Lake area grocery stores. Also, he said they expect Western Family to ship canned pumpkin in early October.

However, while Espinosa was optimistic, not everyone is expecting to avoid a pumpkin pandemonium. For example, a distributor told the Washington Post and shoppers in the area looking to make pumpkin pie:

"We will not be back in pumpkin until this year's harvest."

Despite this spring’s wet weather, there’s still hope that this year’s pumpkin crop will not suffer the same fate, but it will be up to Mother Nature.

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Posted // September 19,2010 at 16:06

The pumpkin shortage was LAST year due to a bad harvest in Illinois in 2009. The 2010 harvest is a good one and stocks will be back to normal witen they hit shelves this fall. Nevertheless, better to stock up when it hits the shelves in a few weeks rather than run out again!


Posted // September 20,2010 at 15:19 - There's been a shortage the last two years, in 2008, and 2009. Harvest doesn't occur every year until the end of September or early October by the way, so this years harvest isn't in yet.


Posted // September 14,2010 at 09:35

Weird, but true. I had a miserable time trying to find a can of pumpkin two weeks ago at the store. Went to three different ones-- promised someone pumpkin chocolate chip cookies-- and was told at each store that there was a "pumpkin shortage". NEVER have I been told that before...