Alfred-oh no! Why some pasta sauces are hard to find these days
Published Thursday, February 4, 2021 5:38PM EST Last Updated Thursday, February 4, 2021 6:55PM EST
KITCHENER -- People searching for Alfredo sauce at local stores might be out of luck.
Valerie Johnston needed a jar to make shrimp fettuccine, but there was none to be found.
"I went down the pasta aisle where all the sauces are and that portion of the shelf was empty," she said.
Johnston searched two other stores, but still wasn't successful.
"I thought it was really weird when I went to the second and third store," she said. "Something's up with this."
Johnston was finally able to snag two jars.
She's not alone in her search. Some other local residents have posted about the shortage on social media.
Simon Somogyi, a food supply expert, said companies are limiting production due to the pandemic.
"They're prioritizing flavours that we like to eat and that typically, in the case of pasta sauce, is marinara," he said.
Kraft Heinz makes 63 different Classico pasta sauces. Eight of those are Alfredo.
Chief Administrative Officer Av Maharaj said they've reduced sauce types in order to increase overall volume.
"It's more efficient to make fewer products, but more of those, than many products and fewer," he explained.
He said the company is producing 9,000 more cases a month than it was before the pandemic. It comes down to the time it takes to switch between sauces using the same manufacturing line.
"Every time you change a line, we lose efficiency, we lose volume we can give to consumers," Maharaj said.
Central Fresh Market recently received 24 jars, a much smaller shipment of Alfredo sauce than they expected.
"I've been order 10 to 15 cases a week and, just this week, we finally received our first two cases since the last two months," store manager Brent Kapuscinski said.
Some people are prepared to roll up their sleeves and make their own.
"I'll probably end up doing it myself from scratch," Guelph resident Alexandra Robertsdottir said. "It's not hard, but it's handy to have it ready-made."
Kraft Heinz expects to have its stock replenished by May.
Anyone interested in making their own sauce can try this recipe from Vincenzo's.