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Is there a formula shortage?


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#1 MillyM

Posted 02 April 2018 - 07:34 AM

I’ve just been watching the news about people queueing up before dawn to buy formula to send overseas. Does this make it difficult for parents to buy formula here?
We had to supplement with formula last baby and, being pregnant now, I am a little worried in case we need to do it again.

#2 Daffy2016

Posted 02 April 2018 - 07:53 AM

I’m formula feeding now. We started on nan gold and sometimes had trouble getting it but it would usually be at the second supermarket we went to. We changed to nan comfort and have had no trouble.

I think it’s the ‘higher end’ formulas - like organic or soy - that are harder to get hold of, but I could be wrong.

We’re in Canberra btw.

#3 Babetty

Posted 02 April 2018 - 08:21 AM

My youngest is nearly 6 but there was the news stories about sending formula overseas when she was little. She was on soy formula too, so occasionally I'd have to go to a couple of supermarkets or pharmacies to find some in stock, but it was never too bad. Was conscious of never letting the tin get too empty though.

I live in a part of Brisbane with a very large immigrant population, so lots of people sending formula and organic skincare and glucosamine etc back home! Two of my local shopping centres have shops that mainly stock "sending back to China" products including arranging shipping. Bellamy's seems to be really popular for this market, so I'd suggest avoiding it.

#4 Caribou

Posted 02 April 2018 - 08:31 AM

Yes and no. There’s high demand for certain brands.my shops sell out of them frequently thanks to overseas demand. I often get the last tin on shelf. And only twice have I had to go to at least four supermarkets across two towns to get my formula. I’d stupidly let my stock get low - I usually have least 4 tins in pantry and ideally top up once a week so there’s always 4 in case it gets bad. Lasts me a month.

But, if you speak to a supermarket or pharmacy and ask them to put aside a tin or two for you, they will. Especially if you’re a local regular shopper.

But thank goodness DS is just about done with formula. I really feel for parents hunting down formula.

#5 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 02 April 2018 - 08:54 AM

Depends on where you live and your formula type.  Around here, there is a large Chinese population and the supermarkets are always pretty gutted, there are 4 tin limits per customer, but the gangs just bring in extra people to clear the shelves. They know when the shelves get restocked and clear it out within hours.

Go to a few supermarkets in your area, take note of what’s missing from the shelves, and avoid those brands like the plague because you will always run into trouble getting them.

I never had much problem getting Heinz nurture, and my kids loved it. And chemists often had more than the supermarkets. There are a few other brands that always seem to be left behind, like PP have said.

#6 IamtheMumma

Posted 02 April 2018 - 08:56 AM

A local woolies near me has a sign up no more than two tins of formula. I asked the checkout operator why. She said they were having customer buy all the formula to send over to Asia.

#7 MillyM

Posted 02 April 2018 - 08:58 AM

Thanks for the advice. How awful that people have to drive from supermarket to supermarket. I can't remember what we used last time - S26 I think or Karicare. We had reflux issues so had to be quite specific with the brand. We are in Melbourne.

#8 CrankyM

Posted 02 April 2018 - 09:06 AM

My best friend has a hard time getting a hold of the formula her son is on. (A2 protein one). It's happened a few times she's had to ring a dozen supermarkets and chemists to track down just 1 tin. It's so very frustrating for her. She lives on the outskirts of Brisbane (near Logan but not Logan).

#9 Oriental lily

Posted 02 April 2018 - 09:31 AM

I think it’s being handled poorly by the formula companies . What the Chinese want is premium formula marketed for Australians . Formula companies have tried to sell directly to China marketed to their consumers but the Chinese are so very untrustworthy of anything directly marketed to them . They believe it to be inferior and worse contaminated .

What the Australian manufactures need to do is expand their supply of the Australian market knowing  that a third party will sell it on . For years and years the formula companies have been saying they have ‘supply issues’ and try to solve it by selling directly to China .

It’s not working ! So give China what they want and sell directly to the third parties packaged exactly like you would sell it to the supermarkets ect .

They see, to be ignoring why China wants our formula in the first place .

#10 Soontobegran

Posted 02 April 2018 - 09:34 AM

I watched 4 women from 1 car go into our local strip's IGA and go in separately to buy the 4 maximum tins per people. There is no doubt where they were going as not one of the women were of baby raising age.
That is 16 cans gone to sell overseas and none left on the shelf for locals.

I am sorry about the formula issues in China but lets not pretend they do not have the resources to make their own....they are not a developing nation.

All shops in our area have restrictions, our chemist demands cash payments and not CC. There is always a shortage of higher end tins at our local Coles.

I know formula companies are increasing stock but just as they do that the demands from overseas increase too.

#11 Mollyksy

Posted 02 April 2018 - 10:01 AM

We used allerpro and it had shortage issues of its own but not due to the chinese market I don't think. What they let you do is buy directly from karicare, so I assume you could do this with other formula too. I used to get a case (6 tins) at a time, free postage, and price from memory on par with chemist warehouse. But you know in stock! It worked for us and might be worth considering.

#12 Oriental lily

Posted 02 April 2018 - 10:19 AM

I agree the best way to avoid shortages is buy online before it even hits the shelves . My little One is on Nan comfort and woolies near us never has it in stock . Luckily the chemist next to do always does . If I was struggling to source it I would go directly to chemist warehouse and buy some nappies ect to get the free postage .

#13 SeaPrincess

Posted 02 April 2018 - 10:40 AM

View PostSoontobegran, on 02 April 2018 - 09:34 AM, said:

I am sorry about the formula issues in China but lets not pretend they do not have the resources to make their own....they are not a developing nation.

They do, but after babies died due to contaminated formula in 2008, parents don’t trust them. And I don’t blame them.

#14 Mister Mum

Posted 02 April 2018 - 10:48 AM

It's actually not illegal to remove an item from somebody's trolley before they've paid for it.

Just grab a couple of tins, shoot em a death stare, and walk off. :D

#15 SeaPrincess

Posted 02 April 2018 - 10:58 AM

View PostMister Mum, on 02 April 2018 - 10:48 AM, said:

It's actually not illegal to remove an item from somebody's trolley before they've paid for it.

Just grab a couple of tins, shoot em a death stare, and walk off. :D
And how exactly do you decide who to take them from when there’s a 2-can limit? Not everyone who looks foreign or speaks another language is buying to send overseas. This is not the answer.

#16 mm1981

Posted 02 April 2018 - 11:00 AM

I have twins that are mostly breast feed but would have the occasional formula when I had to work or otherwise not be with them.

I made the mistake of getting them started on Ballameys. One day, knowing I had run out and had to work the next day I popped down to our local supermarket. None in stock, nor in any off the surrounding chemists and supermarkets. Luckily I was able to call my mum, who lives 40 minutes away and she found a can a near her place. Fussy babies refused other brands.

So I would avoid Ballameys. I do live in an area with a high immigrant population so perhaps it is not a problem in other areas.

#17 Nobodyelse

Posted 02 April 2018 - 11:18 AM

It does depend on the brand. If you do find yourself needing one of the high demand formulas, you can consider always paying for one or two tins in advance someone local, where you can get to know and deal directly with a manager. Like Chemist Warehouse. Then they can put them aside for you as they get deliveries.

#18 Wonderstruck

Posted 02 April 2018 - 12:35 PM

Aptamil, A2 and Bellamy’s seem to be the ones popular overseas

I never had an issue with Nan - we had to go on an Aptamil Allergy Formula and it was always a pain to find. We also struggle now with prescription amino acid formulas which is crazy!

I don’t think you’ll have too much of an issue with S26, Nan or Karicare.

#19 Crazy4

Posted 02 April 2018 - 01:20 PM

View PostSeaPrincess, on 02 April 2018 - 10:40 AM, said:



They do, but after babies died due to contaminated formula in 2008, parents don’t trust them. And I don’t blame them.

Yes, but those that are sending formula back to China aren’t doing out of the goodness of their heart. They are selling it at ridiculously high prices. It’s an outrage.

#20 Soontobegran

Posted 02 April 2018 - 01:32 PM

View PostSeaPrincess, on 02 April 2018 - 10:40 AM, said:

They do, but after babies died due to contaminated formula in 2008, parents don’t trust them. And I don’t blame them.

They have the means to make their own. It was 10 years ago and yes it was tragic but there is no certainty that there will never be a problem with importing a product they could manufacture under strict guide lines.

#21 Soontobegran

Posted 02 April 2018 - 01:34 PM

View PostCrazy4, on 02 April 2018 - 01:20 PM, said:

Yes, but those that are sending formula back to China aren’t doing out of the goodness of their heart. They are selling it at ridiculously high prices. It’s an outrage.

This 100%.
Pretending it is some awesome philanthropic venture to keep Chinese babies safe is ridiculous. They are preying on the vulnerable.....it is not cool.

#22 Crazyone26989

Posted 02 April 2018 - 01:35 PM

View PostSeaPrincess, on 02 April 2018 - 10:58 AM, said:


And how exactly do you decide who to take them from when there’s a 2-can limit? Not everyone who looks foreign or speaks another language is buying to send overseas. This is not the answer.

We were just discussing this! When my husband and I have kids people will probably assume he's exporting it!

#23 Lucrezia Bauble

Posted 02 April 2018 - 01:39 PM

You weren't watching Sunrise were you OP?  They had Pauline Hanson and David Leyonhjelm on - talking about the Chinese buying baby formula in bulk ...if so I dare say you weren't getting a balanced account


#24 Nobodyelse

Posted 02 April 2018 - 01:40 PM

View PostCrazyone26989, on 02 April 2018 - 01:35 PM, said:

We were just discussing this! When my husband and I have kids people will probably assume he's exporting it!

I think this is a bit hyperbolic. The pro-shoppers are clearly different to the personal use shoppers. They tend to shop in large groups of around ten people. They also behave differently. They are more agressive and crowd people out. Hovering and blocking stock while their party members fill trolleys and baskets, go and pay for their 'allowed' amount then come back and do it again. The can limit is per transaction. Not per person. They can go through the cashier as many times as they like.

#25 Soontobegran

Posted 02 April 2018 - 01:53 PM

View PostLucrezia Borgia, on 02 April 2018 - 01:39 PM, said:

You weren't watching Sunrise were you OP?  They had Pauline Hanson and David Leyonhjelm on - talking about the Chinese buying baby formula in bulk ...if so I dare say you weren't getting a balanced account

I don't watch that crap but I do not see how anyone discussing this can give an unbalanced account.
Facts are facts...it is happening, Australian parents have too often not been able to access formula for their babies because personal shoppers are sending them to China and selling them for triple the price.




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