Italian ices, Taco Bell items among the many pandemic shortages

The pandemic has been responsible for many shortages this past year. You now can add to that growing list 34 flavors from Ralph's Italian Ices. The factory doesn't have enough workers to make the popular flavors

"Right now Ralph's doesn't have enough employees and ingredients to make some of the ices," said Evelyn Fuentes, an employee at the Ralph's Italian Ices location in Commack in Suffolk County.

Ralph's offers its customers a big variety — about 100 flavors. Fuentes said right now rainbow cookie, s'mores, and pink lemonade are among the flavors that are sold out.

"I've never seen this happen before," she said.

But it's not just Ralph's Italian Ices that is facing a shortage. Taco Bell is also telling its customers that the fast-food chain may not be able to satisfy customers' cravings. 

"Sorry if we can't feed your current crave," Taco Bell said on its website. "Due to national ingredient shortages and delivery delays, we may be out of some items." 

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Also in short supply is foam. That soft comfy material in your pillows, beds, and even in RVs and boats which provides insulation is hard to find nowadays. And when you do get your hands on it, you can expect to pay a higher price.

But these shortages aren't really about a lack of labor, according to Hitendra Chaturvedi, a professor at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. He blamed the shortages on companies failing to forecast how quickly the demand would come up.

"What happened was when the demand shot up, they didn't have enough supplies — they didn't have enough factories running," Chaturvedi said. "They did not order enough ingredients in order to make the products that you're looking for."

The good news is that these shortages are just temporary, Chaturvedi said.