OK, Your Survival Guy has noticed an increase in the supply of toilet paper. Finally, companies have caught up to demand. All of us should be good for a while on the TP front. But you should hold on to that fear of what it feels like to run out of something we can take for granted. One thing we’ve learned from the pandemic is disasters are often made worse by fear and panic. I don’t want you to succumb to either one. So, let’s think about what’s going to be in demand during the next disruption to give you a head start.
No one can predict what the next disruption will be or how it will impact you. Yes, there will be one, and you should prepare, but beating inertia isn’t easy. I’ll try and make it easier: We know we need to take care of at least three things: Water, food, and shelter.
You know what I’ve done on the water-front. And, much to the despair of some family members, I’ve stored weeks if not months of food. Do not mention the word sardines in my house. We’re good on the sardines, never mind the SPAM. Your Survival Guy got a little carried away.
By the way, did you know SPAM on rice is a favorite sushi order by former President Obama? I can’t believe I’m writing this, but is it possible to miss the Obama years? I guess it’s all relative compared to Uncle Joe and Pamela, I mean Kamala Harris.
Action Line: So we know the staples we’ll need. (Not a bad idea to have some staples in your portfolio too). Then it’s a matter of making each one more accessible or comfortable. Go to a tailgate party (remember those?), and you’ll get a PhD on how to survive off the grid. Plus, you’ll have plenty of cash from Survival Stocks to keep you in the game and looking forward to when things return to some semblance of normal.
P.S. If you’ve been living the FIRE lifestyle, and studiously collecting packets of ketchup at every fast food stop along the way, the future is now, this is your moment. The WSJ reports:
A ketchup shortage vexing restaurants has fueled a secondary market—an underground trade in coveted ketchup packets.
Diners with the good fortune to have a stash of saved ketchup packets are listing them on eBay Inc. and Facebook Inc.’s Marketplace to make a buck off the pandemic’s latest supply-chain constraint.
Lindsey Cohen, a retiree from Indianapolis, logged onto eBay and posted 20 Heinz ketchup packets for sale for $8 after The Wall Street Journal reported April 5 on restaurants’ squeezed ketchup supplies. Ms. Cohen, who said she amassed her collection during fast-food stops on a recent road trip, typically uses eBay to clear clutter from her house but thought hawking ketchup sounded like fun.
About 12 hours later, the packets sold. “I’ve never gone so far as to sell condiments,” said Ms. Cohen. With ketchup, she said, “I jumped on the bandwagon.”
The ketchup crunch is gripping U.S. restaurants just as they as they are reopening dining rooms closed by Covid-19. Costs for the tomato spread have risen, single-serve packets are in short supply, and restaurant chains are canvassing distributors to locate Heinz, the industry’s top brand.
The pandemic forced full-service restaurants to turn to packets instead of their usual bottles out of sanitary concerns, fueling a spike in demand and straining supplies. Kraft Heinz Co. has put priority on supplying fast-food and drive-through restaurants, whose sales recovered faster than those of sit-down restaurants so far.
Many eBay sellers said they heard news of the shortage and realized they needed to strike while the iron, or grill, was hot. Some recalled how individual squares of toilet paper sold on eBay during the shortage of that staple in the early days of the pandemic; they didn’t want to miss out on a potential ketchup rush.
It’s not exactly an efficient market. The prices in dozens of ketchup-packet listings posted online range all the way from a quarter to $5 each, the latter in a lot of 20 packets for $100. Each has about a third of an ounce of ketchup.
Kent Reining, a Facebook Marketplace seller from Danville, Ill., offered packets for $4 each, or a bargain price of 20 for $50.
“There’s a shortage,” he wrote. “Don’t try to lowball me, I know what I’ve got.”
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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