Marshmallow shortage hits Winnipeg amid latest coronavirus buying spree

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If you’re looking for marshmallows in Winnipeg, get in line.

With most Winnipeggers abiding by public health orders and stuck at home for the holidays, it appears many of us have come up with the same idea to pass the time — baking — and that’s left marshmallows in short supply.

“As they’re coming in, they’re running out the door faster than we put them on the shelf,” said Munther Zeid, who runs the Food Fare at 2285 Portage Ave. of the fluffy confectionary popular for plopping into hot chocolate and a vital for peanut butter marshmallow squares.

“Everybody’s trying to make treats for their kids and stuff like that.”

Zeid said his store got a shipment of marshmallows Tuesday and he was down to just a few bags of mini, and large white marshmallows by Wednesday afternoon.

He laughed when asked if he had any of the mini, multi-coloured variety left.

And it’s not just his store, he says. All five city Food Fares haven’t been able to keep marshmallows stocked since early November, and neither can his competitors.

“It’s not just us, it’s Sobeys, it’s Safeway, it’s Walmart — everybody’s having an issue with supply,” he said.

“We have some right now, but I’d say by end of day today they’ll be gone. I’m amazed they’re not gone yet. Up until yesterday we were telling people we don’t have any.”

The marshmallow shortages follow a year that’s seen toilet paper dry up, disinfectant disappear, and baking supplies like baking yeast vanish from store shelves as initial panic-buying made way for something more akin to boredom-busting buying as pandemic wears on.

Zeid says it’s been difficult to predict and prepare for what the next must-have item is going to be.

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