We want our customers to know that DeCA is doing everything we can to get the products they need and want onto their store shelves – especially to our overseas and remote commissaries.
A Message From Your Commissary - May 24, 2022
FAQs Regarding Infant Formula
What is the latest information on the availability of infant formula on commissary shelfs?
The availability of baby formula for all our stores is fluid right now and evolving daily. Current fill rates across our commissaries are hovering around 50% for CONUS and 55-60% for OCONUS commissaries. We are working with our suppliers daily to increase our levels of supply on these critical products, with some success as they work to increase production.
When can DeCA predict the normal availability of baby formula in its commissaries?
We are in a period of new norms with a constantly evolving supply chain, but we will ensure all orders for overseas and remote stores receive priority for baby formula shipments. If the availability of baby formula becomes an issue for our overseas commissaries we will airlift, if and when necessary, and assuming we can get the product. As far as most stateside commissaries are concerned, we are in the same position as commercial retailers – our distributors are receiving allocations of the quantities (essentially, less than they would like to order), which limits supply to our stores. We've experienced some panic buying as well, which has accentuated the challenges in our stores. That said, manufacturers are now focused on a smaller group of products they can produce faster, and we've temporarily adjusted our product assortments to take advantage of their efforts. For our Patrons, this may mean fewer options on sizes but higher availability of products they can use.
Are there any indications that the shortages are easing, or when they will ease?
The situation will remain about the same for the next sixty days as industry ramps up production. We anticipate in the next three weeks that we will improve our shelf stockage, but of course this is dependent on product availability. We want our customers to know we are doing everything we can to get the products they need onto commissary store shelves – especially for our overseas and remote commissaries. We appreciate the partnerships with our suppliers and distributors to date in trying to get as much product as possible to commissary store shelves...we'll continue to team with them until the situation is resolved.
Is there a limit to the number of units a patron can purchase at the commissary?
In an effort to mitigate the situation and provide equal access to all patrons, DeCA has initiated a purchase limit on baby formula. Check with your local commissary for more information on baby formula purchase limits.
I am currently stationed in Europe, what are my options for baby formula?
DeCA has an approved alternate local source for Europe. These locally produced products, called “OSA” (offshore acquired items) are sometimes purchased by our overseas commissaries to supplement our US stock assortment when the US product is not available. We are reviewing local production options for the Pacific.
If I can’t get my baby formula at the commissary what can I do?
For customers having trouble finding formula: Follow current FDA guidance, which advises customers to 1) avoid making infant formulas at home and 2) work with their child’s health care provider for recommendations on changing feeding practices, if needed. Also, for more information visit the Defense Health Agency/TRICARE about the infant formula shortage.
What advice do you have for your customers who are having trouble finding formula?
While this current baby formula shortage is concerning, suppliers are constantly adding more product to the market, so any “panic buying” only heightens the current supply chain challenges. We understand a healthy reserve of baby formula is necessary, but we ask our customers to have consideration for others and not stockpile, as product is making its way to the shelf stateside and overseas. The DeCA team will also continue to update our commissaries.com website as more products become available.
Information will be updated as it becomes available.
For more information visit the Health and Human Services Infant Formula webpage.