The Water Cooler – Are You Missing A Product At The Grocery Store?

January 13, 2022 12:00 pm · 79 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon.

QUESTION: Is there a product that you usually purchase at the grocery store that you haven’t been able to find in days, weeks or months?

Talk about it….

{ 79 comments… read them below or add one }

Simonpure January 13, 2022 at 12:02 PM

Just about everything…we use instacart and the last lady that brought our groceries said she is not making very much money now because the shelves are bare.


xj January 13, 2022 at 4:45 PM

Yes. Haven’t come across a chin, a nose or a mouth in about 2 years!

Man in Brown January 13, 2022 at 12:04 PM

Knots Berry Farm BlackBerry syrup. It’s just vanished.


Roz January 13, 2022 at 12:56 PM

@ Man in Brown~
Call Lunardi’s, 939-6477….fingers crossed, they may have it.
1600 Palos Verdes Mall Geary &, Pleasant Hill Rd, Walnut Creek

Dawg January 13, 2022 at 12:17 PM

Yep, there are a few items, some of which will be back in stock the next time I go shopping, and there are items that I haven’t been able to find for quite some time. I never had this problem before Biden was elected.
What has this incompetent fool done to our country, and who are the fools supporting him?


S January 13, 2022 at 12:23 PM



The Wizard January 13, 2022 at 5:17 PM

That’s some sweet stuff

Torcofuel January 13, 2022 at 12:27 PM

Dshop in person at Safeway, they are stocked just fine, I don’t know where the hell are these news media crap is coming from that the shelves are empty everywhere they are not!
Even when we order online from Sam’s or Costco they have everything we need as well, don’t believe all the social media crap and news media on the television that there are huge shortages everywhere and shelves are empty.


AA January 13, 2022 at 1:48 PM

The Safeway in my area had empty shelves of all of the packaged salads and other fruits and vegetables last week. They were also low on chicken and meat. Nobody is making this up. Many shelves have been empty of different items on different days multiple times.

Old Timer January 13, 2022 at 12:42 PM

French toast in the breakfast section.But by No means are the shelves empty.


PESFG January 13, 2022 at 5:49 PM

Yes, I too had been unable to find French toast so I started making my own and like it better.

Roz January 13, 2022 at 12:50 PM

Not so much at the grocery stores since we eat simple, fresh, flavor-up, and adjust to what’s in season.
But supplies of certain supplements we like, have been missing from shelves.


Gremlin January 13, 2022 at 12:51 PM

The last two times we went to Sam’s Club there were no eggs. Ditto with packages of bone-in chicken legs and thighs.


Concord Resident January 13, 2022 at 1:47 PM

I wonder if this has to do with Prop 12, which required all eggs sold in that state to come from cage-free hens by 2022. That measure also prohibits the sale of pork and veal in California from animals raised in cages that don’t meet minimum size standards,

Cowellian January 13, 2022 at 5:47 PM

I’m sure Prop 12 exacerbates the problem in California, but Costco and Sam’s Club seem to be having problems keeping chicken in stock in many parts of the country.

Hanne Jeppesen January 14, 2022 at 1:22 PM

None of the stores l shop at are ever out of eggs. I buy eggs mostly at Trader Joe’s or Grocery Outlet, sometimes Safeway. I eat several eggs a week. Anyway l hate the idea of animals locked in small cages, don’t mind paying extra. When driving back from LA on 5 there’s a cattle farm, looks just horrible condition for those poor cows and calf’s. Where l grew up cows grazed on green grass and had plenty of room to move about. Chickens were kept in a pen, but had plenty. of room. Some big farms let the foul run loose.

SB January 13, 2022 at 1:01 PM

Raspberry PI


Anonymous January 13, 2022 at 3:22 PM

A true geek would know it’s Raspberry Pi.

Jeff (the other one) January 13, 2022 at 1:16 PM

Butterball turkeys. I know the season is over, but still want to cook these.


Cyn January 13, 2022 at 7:32 PM

IMO, turkey season is never over. 🙂

Jeff (the other one) January 13, 2022 at 9:14 PM

2Cyn…agreed, controlled myself this year and only went through 4 turkeys. Last year, easily 8 from early November to January. Still have one in the freezer for a treat in a month or 3. While Foster Farms and Jennie-O are decent, there is nothing like a Butterball. Glad there are other turkicanus freaks like me on this board!

Cyn January 14, 2022 at 9:40 AM


JJ January 13, 2022 at 1:19 PM



John January 13, 2022 at 1:22 PM

I have not experienced any problems buying at Safeway or Trader Joe’s recently. I was in Clayton Safeway yesterday and the shelves were full with some minor exceptions. I couldn’t find Udon noodles….it’s the least of my worries.
I asky why is Chevron and Shell overcharging for gas went other stations are selling at 25 to 50 cents less a gallon?


The Old Goat January 13, 2022 at 4:16 PM

Costco gas, $4.39

The Wizard January 13, 2022 at 4:23 PM

They are always higher than others. Gas is generic but the additives are proprietary. Chevron has good additives. But you have a choice, you can always go down the street.

Dirty Laundry January 13, 2022 at 1:28 PM

Tide Pods last Friday Safeway Denkinger


Winston January 13, 2022 at 1:40 PM

Kraft parm. It’s just gone from Safeway and the Safeway brand stuff is horrible. I know, I know, real grated parm is better, but for some uses that is absolutely the right stuff.

Also, when is the Mayor of this site gonna fix or remove the “Talk About Local Politics” section?


Cyn January 13, 2022 at 6:53 PM

I had the same problem trying to get parmesan at Safeway, so I went across the road to Grocery Outlet and they had plenty. Clayton Safeway was also out of crackers today. Only three bags of oysters and that was it. I took one and saved the other two for someone else.

Mitch January 13, 2022 at 1:45 PM

Cat food is rough right now. We usually try to stick to the same food for our fickle little beasts, but have to buy what you can find these days. These poor cats have it rough.


Sancho Panza January 13, 2022 at 6:25 PM

Agreed! We sometimes have to go to several stores to find what we need—we need to avoid the Hershey squirts with our indoor cat…

dbcoop January 13, 2022 at 7:03 PM

ive had luck at petsmart with fancy feast flavors

Justifiable languor January 13, 2022 at 2:15 PM

Whole bean Kirkland Columbian coffee. I joke with the hubby saying Danville Costco has all of it.


Ricardoh January 13, 2022 at 2:21 PM

In spite of Joey Baby, private enterprise is doing OK so far. If the democrats power is shut down and private enterprise continues to operate we will be OK. If the democrats continue in power who knows what they will do next. Don’t think they can’t mess things up worse.


Original G January 13, 2022 at 2:34 PM

Costco usually does good, did however yesterday have to venture into a “grocery store” and what a disappointment. For quantity of product in package, prices boarded on the ridiculous.


anon January 13, 2022 at 2:53 PM

I shop at Clayton Safeway and Lucky.

No frozen hashbrown patties at Safeway and both stores are often very low on canned wet cat food.


ddt January 13, 2022 at 6:26 PM

grocery outlet has hash brown patties

CJRN January 13, 2022 at 3:09 PM

Nope. I eat very little meat, and when I do add meat to the menu, I get it from a local rancher. All fruit and vegetables from the farmer’s market, dried grains/legumes from farmers (order online and shipped to me). I do all my own baking, meal prep and cooking. I make my own jam and can/freeze fruit and vegetables when in season. I’ve always done this, and it really doesn’t add too much time to my schedule.
I hardly ever go to a grocery store. 🤷🏼‍♀️


ddt January 13, 2022 at 6:25 PM

grocery outlet has them

Snakekeeper January 13, 2022 at 3:59 PM

Green cholula


The Old Goat January 13, 2022 at 5:10 PM

Green Cholula is the best. Cholula Chipotle good also. So many hot sauces taste like a spicy vinegar, but for my taste, Cholula rings the bell.

Dr Jellyfinger January 13, 2022 at 6:18 PM

Sometimes if I’m outa salsa I shake a few drops of Cholula on my tortilla chips…. I get my spicy fix.

ClayDen January 13, 2022 at 5:25 PM

Costco in Kauai was out of pineapples last month.
BTW, regular gas at the Shell station in Lihue was $4.69 a gallon, less than at the Shell station at Clayton and YVR.


Cowellian January 13, 2022 at 5:53 PM

I guess that’s part of the adventure of living on an island paradise. When I was stationed at Pearl Harbor, we had a toilet paper crisis long before it became fashionable. And sugar was grown on the island, put on a ship to California for processing, and shipped back to Hawaii for sale.

Dr Jellyfinger January 13, 2022 at 6:22 PM

Some evil genius on Kauai has discovered a way to make bootleg gasoline out of pineapples.

chuckie the troll January 14, 2022 at 12:45 PM

Gas at Kroger, with discount, was $2.69 today. $2.99 without discount. Real gas (no ethanol) and 93 octane are more expensive but still cheaper than California regular.

ChuckStir Williams January 13, 2022 at 5:55 PM

Low sodium corn chips. I contacted Frito Lay, they discontinued them. For those that need to watch their sodium intake there are very few items available on the store shelves. Bummer.


Derb January 13, 2022 at 9:48 PM

@ChuckStir Williams
Wait what low salt Fritos were discontinued?! They were my favorite.

Antler January 13, 2022 at 10:44 PM

Harvest House has plenty of them.

S January 14, 2022 at 6:30 AM

you might look at the Fritos Scoops. More corn to salt ratio, but check the sodium label… Flavor-wise not as salty, I prefer them.

ConcordRez January 13, 2022 at 6:23 PM

I haven’t noticed empty shelves. I shop at Food Max, Safeway, 99 Cents Only, and Grocery Outlet


Torcofuel January 13, 2022 at 6:26 PM

Hahaha you’re on Kauai and you’re buying pineapple in a supermarket? Oh something wrong with that picture…
I won’t even mention the price of jet fuel in Hawaii compared to Concord Buchanan, they know we got to fuel up before we head back home they’re no dummies..


Bad Nombre January 13, 2022 at 9:37 PM

Dried Speckled Butter Beans.


PESFG January 13, 2022 at 9:39 PM

There is one non-food product I have not been able to find since the armatoiletpapergeddon, and that was 409. I have tried other cleaning products but nothing seems to be as good as 409 was.


Dawg January 14, 2022 at 9:39 AM

I’m not sure, but I’ve heard 409 has been discontinued. Have you tried Simple Green? It works pretty good and gets the grease off.
Here’s a little trivia. It took the inventor 409 tries to get the correct formula, and that’s why it was named 409.

Cyn January 14, 2022 at 6:41 PM

Nothing cleans my tires and wheels like Simple Green. Good stuff. Also, thanks for the 409 trivia.

Antler January 14, 2022 at 8:37 PM

There are many 409 products for sale on Amazon! Besides the regular cleaning solution, they also sell an excellent “Stone and Steel” product.
We used their “Slate and Stone” product on our Vermont green slate floors for many years, but it seems they have replaced that with “Slate and Steel” (which works just fine).

Antler January 14, 2022 at 8:57 PM

……. correction: the new product is “Stone and Steel”.

Dr Jellyfinger January 16, 2022 at 8:30 AM

@ Cyn, That is remarkable! I used the same method to give an old girlfriend her nickname… “Sally 07”

Dr Jellyfinger January 16, 2022 at 8:32 AM

I meant Dawg, sorry!

El D January 13, 2022 at 10:42 PM

Supply chains have been screwed up the entire pandemic. I haven’t seen any changes recently. If the item I’m looking for is out of stock, I adjust. As long as they don’t run out of coffee, I’m good.


Antler January 13, 2022 at 10:51 PM

different fruit/sweet pepper jellies… intermittent, and sometimes the “mild” isn’t available….. but that’s no biggie

[Spread creamed cheese n a Ritz cracker, and then put the tiniest dollop of pepper jelly on top of that. Nice snack for ones afternoon break on gardening day.]


Gittyup January 14, 2022 at 12:35 AM

Lysol Spray Disinfectant — the “non-environmentally correct” one in the spray can. Haven’t seen it since before the start of the pandemic. It smells fresh and clean unlike most other room deodorizers and kills air-born bacteria.

Bumble Bee Albacore Tuna packed in water, but found one that’s even better. More expensive, however. Blue Harbor, I think it’s called.

They were completely out of Raman one time, but found a Beef Yakatori that’s better … with a bonus! Vegetables! Bits of cabbage and carrot.

Bounty paper towels have been hit and miss for months and disappeared completely last year for the longest time. Same with Scott’s single ply TP..

And, there certainly are a lot of brands on the shelves that I’ve never seen or heard of before. I bought a container of Pineapple juice which I would have expected to be Dole, and discovered it was concentrate from Indonesia reconstituted (water added) in the US. Lucky has expanded tremendously it’s ethnic offerings, but still no Ortega refried beans. I think Ortega makes the best.canned refried beans. Safeway didn’t have them either, and Grocery Outlet has a whole different array of offerings than either Lucky or Safeway. It took me a while to adjust to it, but the prices are great and some departments offer exceptional variety and savings, like the cheeses available.


Roz January 14, 2022 at 9:54 AM

@ Gittyup~
Have you tried Bush’s refried beans, the no fat kind?
We add spices & a bit of butter. Taste better than the beans with lard or other hydronated oils.

nytemuvr January 14, 2022 at 1:13 AM

@Antler….”Mmmmm, mm…good cracker”….


Antler January 14, 2022 at 10:29 AM

Always wonderful to see Andy (another North Carolinian)! Did you also watch the video of his interview on the David Letterman show?

The town where I was born is just inland (across the Alligator River) from Andy’s home town of Manteo… which in turn is close to Nags Head/Kitty Hawk “Outer Banks”.

nytemuvr January 14, 2022 at 7:38 PM

@Antler….I got to enjoy that beautiful part of the country years ago navigating my 18-wheeled transport vehicle on the right hand side of the US. I picked up loads of Alcoa aluminum ignots from their N. Carolina plant a few times, in Greenville I think. Food and people were great there, the humidity not so much.

Antler January 14, 2022 at 8:46 PM

Nice that you enjoyed your “working vacations” there!

Yes, the humidity can indeed be wicked during the summer. I’m just glad the helicopter mosquitoes didn’t carry you and your 18-wheeler “clean OFF”!

What did you think about the “Down East” style of barbecue and the hush puppies and cole slaw served from Raleigh eastward to the coast?

nytemuvr January 15, 2022 at 11:57 PM

@Antler…Is it the mustard-based barbeque sauce you reference? I’d been raised on Texas style BBQ and Barney’s brown sauce, the mustard sauce was great and I use that type to make pulled pork even to this day. My Mom was from the Deep South so all the food there was familiar, comfort food. The mosquitos you mention weren’t as bad as the giant flying cockroaches! I was reading one night, with the window open, one flew in and landed on the book. I thought it was a bat or bird at first, damn thing was at least 6″ long. I don’t think I ever moved so fast.

smee January 14, 2022 at 8:00 AM

I can find all the groceries I normally use. Just can’t find covid tests.


Dave January 14, 2022 at 8:14 AM

Safeway in Brentwood on second st is ALWAYS out of what I am looking for, Never seen so many empty shelves and freezers. WORST Safeway in the Bay Area


Gittyup January 14, 2022 at 10:05 AM

Always wondered if there were certain personality characteristics that made someone prefer shopping at either “Lucky” or “Safeway.” Do people who feel lucky shop at “Lucky?” Do people who prefer safety shop at “Safeway?” I’ve known people who only shop always at only one but not the other.


Cyn January 14, 2022 at 6:51 PM

Safeway is closest and at this point, I’m all about convenience.

Dr Jellyfinger January 16, 2022 at 7:58 AM

In my younger years I had a job that required supplying grocery stores with certain products in Contra Costa County. I found the Safeway stores to be generally cleaner than Lucky’s and the employees definitely nicer at Safeway stores (except for one angry, midget store manager at the Blackhawk Safeway… hard to believe such a small man could be such a giant A-hole). Still, I considered Lucky’s to be sub par and I only shopped at Safeway stores in Clayton & Walnut Creek.

nytemuvr January 16, 2022 at 8:52 AM

@Dr Jellyfinger…. In the 70s the most anticipated outside vendors coming in to stock their products were the “Leggs” pantyhose girls. Blue short-shorts and white “go-go” boots. Male clerks were like June bugs swarming around an outdoor electric bug zapper.

Gittyup January 16, 2022 at 1:58 PM

@Cyn That is pretty much my strategy, too.

@Dr. Jellyfinger That’s interesting to know from an “inside perspective.” I would guess a midget managing a store in Danville might face a few challenges. I’ve noticed Danville people are on the tall side. But, I think you just got the revenge you posted about several weeks ago.

Warning! One might be offended! Watching this video, I realized it would never fly in today’s repressive, “We’re all in this together,” politically-correct social landscape, and it’s the “Official Video.” Never mind it became a hit that made the charts. Bet you can guess what it is!

Patrick King January 14, 2022 at 11:16 AM

Franzia Pinot Grigio in the Box….


chuckie the troll January 14, 2022 at 12:40 PM

Today the store had no grapes, and no condensed tomato soup. Otherwise, no problems.


Justifiable languor January 16, 2022 at 10:04 AM

Come to think of it, where are the non sweet corndogs? The honey favored are yucky. They have the supposed “original”, flavored with honey. Are those the old recipe with a slightly sweet coating? I don’t have them often but when I do I’d like to match my craving to the memory.

I don’t eat alot of junkfood but when I do, its gotz to be authentic.


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