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Woolworths takes action on formula frenzy

formula productWoolworths has announced that it will revert to a two tin limit on baby formula following increasing pressure from families.

The “big two” had previously enforced a two tin limit earlier this year, but in July Coles increased the limit to eight due to improvements in supply, and Woolworths followed suit a month later.

A video uploaded to Reddit over the weekend shows long lines of customers at Woolworths in Chadstone, Melbourne queuing up from early morning to purchase baby formula before it even hit shelves.

Reddit user BeBa420 who shared the clip from Sunday morning said that there was a line from “one end of the supermarket to the other full of people carrying boxes of baby formula.”

Video Screenshot –  Source: Reddit/ BeBa420

A spokesperson for Woolworths told Inside FMCG on Monday afternoon that the supermarket now plans to row back on the formula allowance.

“We can confirm from next week week the baby formula limit will revert to two tins per transaction. We’ll closely monitor our on shelf availability and feedback from customers as we make this adjustment,” a spokesperson said.

The change will be communicated to store teams and signs will be placed in stores to advise customers. On October 8, a group of Sydney parents posted a handwritten letter to a Woolworths Sydney Metro store asking for the limit to be reduced as they struggle to obtain formula for their children. Sydney dad Ivan Chan shared the letter on Facebook in recent days asking the supermarket for a response to their request.

“We have to keep calling stores all over Sydney to feed our children. The problem has become acutely worse since Woolworths increased the per customer limit to eight tins. We demand Woolworths bring the limit back down to two tins per customer to ensure adequate supply for Australian families,” the letter read.

The crisis escalated further over the weekend as NSW Police reported that four men had been charged after the alleged theft of baby formula and cosmetics at Sydney supermarkets on Saturday. Items valued at more than $2500 had been stolen from two supermarkets within Mount Annan shopping centre.

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