BILLINGS - Whether you bag it paper or plastic, grocery stores across the nation are struggling to keep their products stocked up.

The next time you go grocery shopping you might notice that some of your favorite items are missing, making it harder for you to cross off everything on your grocery list.

The shelves aren’t as bare as they were a year ago, but supply shortages are still impacting local grocery stores.

Lil' Market Groceries in Downtown Billings is just one of the local stores feeling the strain to keep their shelves stocked.

“Sometimes it’s frozen, sometimes it’s produce, it all has to do with getting trucks in, I know there’s a shortage of truck drivers right now,” Manager Lynisa Hoem said.

A lack in resources like glass, aluminum and resin used in plastic packaging is also to blame for the delay in products arriving to their store.

"It can take months sometimes, it depends on the product. Water, I’ve had to wait two weeks for, and various other things? It’s been months. It’s been temporarily discontinued for a while. Anything that’s glass or metal, it’s hit or miss if we can get it in anymore," she said.

The grocery store has been out of sriracha since the pandemic started. Some of your favorite brands typically in stock at Lil' Market, you may never see again on their shelves.

“We’re having to change some products. Some products I’ve carried since we’ve opened I've had to switch because I’m not sure if they can no longer bottle, or can, or whatever their product comes in, but I’m hoping they’ll survive this," Hoem said.

Hoem says how we deal with the pandemic will decide if grocery stores can get back to their regular shipments of inventory. For now, she wants her customers to know they’re working hard to get your favorite items in your basket again.

“Be patient with us, we’re trying everything we can to keep everybody happy, I think that’s important right now, whether it’s coming in for snacks or drinks to get them through their days, we understand. We’re doing the best we can and we will continue to do so,” she said.

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