Toronto supermarket owner" "Food companies don't want to make extra food supplies for Y2K." : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I just had a very interesting conversation with the manager/owner of a large supermarket here in Toronto. I'm not giving the name or location in the city because he told me that the store owners [they are part of a large chain] have been specifically warned not to 'contribute' to Y2K concerns on the part of their customers or to 'take advantage' of Y2K.

This guy is very intelligent and level-headed, as is his wife. I've had several brief conversations with them before and passed them material to read. The consequence is that they both became cautious GI's, began to stock their large store with extra amounts of canned goods, bottled water etc., and expected that the NBC Y2K movie might be the trigger which made their customers seriously begin to get ready. Nothing happened - nada! They are still planning on bringing in additional extra stocks, but he's obviously beginning to wonder...

Anyway, during the conversation he said something that really grabbed my attention. All of this franchise chain's owners/managers apparently had a meeting some weeks ago in which they were offered the chance, for Y2K purposes, to "block off" [his phrase] extra production from the food manufacturers of products they thought they needed to order extra volumes of. Hardly any of these major supermarket managers did, he said - he was one of the few who took advantage of this. "They don't want to do it", he said. "The food companies don't want to produce extra food."

Now that really stunned me. If this has been generally true elsewhere in Canada and in other retail food businesses, unless supermarket managers requested them in good time of reluctant food manufacturers there will apparently be no extra supplies of food in the Canadian food supply chain in the last month of this year.

This, of course, would normally make good business sense - that you only produce to order - but I guess I'd assumed that someone responsible for Canadian Y2K planning, somewhere would have seen the potential need for extra supplies and would ensured that the food companies would be prepared in advance to provide them by ratcheting up production somewhat [after all, cans of baked beans and of ravioli aren't likely to go bad in storage if they miscalculate slightly].

So if this is generally true in the States, too, we're all facing the last month pre-Y2K with virtually the same amount of food available as was produced for December of last year, unless individual supermaket managers or chains have purposefully ordered more.

And how many have?

-- John Whitley (, November 26, 1999


The Feds had asked some of the big food giants to over ramp production. There was a big article at the time of the Nabiscos' Y2K manager asking in response, "But which products?" I had faxed Nabisco with a list of their products I had purchased for my stash as a sample for them. I don't know if or how many others did.

-- Paula (, November 26, 1999.


Over here on the Island the largest food store chain surveyed the public to see what they were buying most of and used that as a basis for their purchases. They also got more warehouse space to put all the food.

Smart folk.

-- Brian (, November 26, 1999.


I remember reading about that. You B.C. people should name that province 'lotus land', or something - You've got the best of everything out there :).

I definitely should have moved out to B.C. this summer.

Better pack a bag and start walking West right now, while I can still hike there before Y2K hits...:)

You've sure worked hard today to get me into 'hike' mode, and now you've doggone succeeded!

-- John Whitley (, November 26, 1999.


Well thats nice, but you had better watch when you get to the islands, we will put you to sleep.

-- Brian (, November 27, 1999.


'...but you had better watch when you get to the islands, we will put you to sleep.'

I'm going to walk all that way to join y'all in Paradise on the Pacific, only to find that you're planning to turn a vet loose on me and put me down like an unwanted stray when I arrive?

And I thought you were all nice, hospitable people out there in B.C. :)!

-- John Whitley (, November 27, 1999.

Back in March or April I was working with a Chico city councilman in coming up with "official" contingency plans for the city. One idea we had was to see if a local supermarket would stock "A Month in a Box which will feed one adult for one month and fits in computer box. We figured if there was a panic, people could go to the super and get their box. We were planning on issuing vouchers for the boxes, so folks could have an apponted time to get the box.

I contacted the vice-president of Food 4 Less. He said they had been thinking about something like that. I sent info to him. He never got back to me, and didn't return my phone calls.

The effort between my community group and the city was shot down, and that might make for, November 27, 1999.

(is this what you meant?)

...that might make for some interesting reading, maybe. It on my website.

But, so far no panic. The extra supplies in the stores are pretty innocuous. Some food grade buckets, kerosene heaters, water containers.

Why should the managers be any different from the rest of the sheeple. Too bad.


-- Linda (, November 27, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ