Canned Pumpkin Shortage

Decorating By cutthecake Updated 30 Sep 2010 , 9:18am by AnnieCahill

cutthecake Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 10:09pm
post #1 of 60

There is NO canned pumpkin in our area--Westchester County, NY. I have been to numerous grocery stores and talked to the managers. They don't have any, and they don't know when or if they'll be getting any. There are no orange Libby's cans to be found anywhere.

I researched and learned that it has something to do with the rainy weather in Illinois. Apparently, the pumpkin crop was fine, but the trucks couldn't get to them and pick them because of the muddy conditions in the fields. Libby's (who produces the bulk of canned pumpkin) is hopeful for this year's harvest, and so am I.

I just bought the only 2 cans of canned pumpkin I could find, in a high-end specialty food store. They're organic, and expensive. I am keeping them in a safe deposit box until November, and I will charge our Thanksiving guests for each slice of pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread they eat. And they must be pumpkin-worthy, or they won't get any.

Has anyone seen Libby's in the supermarket? If so, where are you located? It might be worth a road trip.
I emailed Libby's, and am awaiting a reply.

Read it and weep with me:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/01/AR2010060100801.html

59 replies
3GCakes Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 10:28pm
post #2 of 60

It's weird....my husband and I planted some pumpkins this year, but could only harvest one.

Come to find out, our area has some kind of critter that is attacking all squash plants. You either have to cut it out of the actual stem before it lays its eggs or you have to use some kind of certain pesticide.

We don't put any pesticides in our garden, and didn't find out about the critter until it was too late. We lost a lot of squash and our pumpkins. We now have one single, solitary pumpkin that we have stored and hope it makes it til carving time!

gandelmom Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 10:36pm
post #3 of 60

I finally found some at a local Jewel Foods in the Chicago area. Phew!

cutthecake Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 11:03pm
post #4 of 60

gandelmom,
Have you heard anything new about this in the Chicago area?

PattyT Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 11:22pm
post #5 of 60

There was another thread about this last week, so I looked during my grocery run this past weekend.

I'm in South Jersey / Philadelphia area and my ShopRite had plenty. Don't use much but I bought a few small cans - just because.

Hearing it come up again, I may get a few more this weekend.

icon_lol.gif pumpkin worthy icon_lol.gif love it icon_lol.gif

foxymomma521 Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 11:25pm
post #6 of 60

I have tons in my area... my Wegman's has carried it all year. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000HDI5O8/?tag=cakecentral-20
Amazon has some, just over $2 a can, so not bad.

frankdiabetes Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 11:43pm
post #7 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxymomma521

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000HDI5O8/?tag=cakecentral-20
Amazon has some, just over $2 a can, so not bad.




I too was worried about the pumpkin shortage, so I bought a case of that on Amazon, but I just read the Cook's Illustrated review of this brand and it's unfavorable. It's called "vegetal and chalky"...I haven't tried it yet, but we'll see how it is!

cutthecake Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 11:52pm
post #8 of 60

Call off the alarm! I just received a reply from the Libby's lady:

"Our pumpkins are grown in the Midwest where we had record rain fall amounts last year. This caused the fields to be extremely wet and therefore, we were unable to get our tractors in the fields to harvest the pumpkins. As a result, we will be in short supply until our next harvest.

You will be happy to know that we anticipate that the pumpkin will be available in stores by the end of this month!"

I'm still hoarding my two cans of organic pumpkin until I see the orange cans back on the shelves!

foxymomma521 Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 11:53pm
post #9 of 60

I've used it several times with no problems. I used it in a pumpkin spice cake for the last wedding I did and people were c coming back for 2nd's!

cutthecake Posted 14 Sep 2010 , 11:59pm
post #10 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankdiabetes

...Farmer's Market Organic Pumpkin...I just read the Cook's Illustrated review of this brand and it's unfavorable. It's called "vegetal and chalky"...I haven't tried it yet, but we'll see how it is!




Oh, great. I'm hoarding chalky pumpkin, for which I paid top dollar.
Get that pumpkin on the shelves, Libby's!

frankdiabetes Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 12:12am
post #11 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxymomma521

I've used it several times with no problems. I used it in a pumpkin spice cake for the last wedding I did and people were c coming back for 2nd's!




Yay, I'm glad to hear that! Cutthecake, I thought the same thing: paying more money for organic pumpkin that is inferior? I considered giving it all to my mother-in-law...it can't possibly make her baked goods any worse. icon_wink.gif

PattyT Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 12:14am
post #12 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankdiabetes

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxymomma521

I've used it several times with no problems. I used it in a pumpkin spice cake for the last wedding I did and people were c coming back for 2nd's!



Yay, I'm glad to hear that! Cutthecake, I thought the same thing: paying more money for organic pumpkin that is inferior? I considered giving it all to my mother-in-law...it can't possibly make her baked goods any worse. icon_wink.gif




Aw jeeezzzzz...this is funny.... icon_lol.gif

cutthecake Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 12:15am
post #13 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankdiabetes

...it can't possibly make her baked goods any worse. icon_wink.gif




Maybe it will make her stuff better!

frankdiabetes Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 12:22am
post #14 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by cutthecake

Maybe it will make her stuff better!




Lol, it's entirely possible! This is a woman who "bakes" her cheesecake in the microwave for 22 minutes. You can literally take the thing and bend it like rubber. She sees nothing wrong with this. icon_rolleyes.gif

cakesbycathy Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 12:35am
post #15 of 60

I needed some last week and had to go to 5 stores before I found some. ALL the managers told me the same thing - pumpkin shortage. They are expecting it to come in next month.

cutthecake Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 12:40am
post #16 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankdiabetes

This is a woman who "bakes" her cheesecake in the microwave for 22 minutes. You can literally take the thing and bend it like rubber. She sees nothing wrong with this. icon_rolleyes.gif




Don't you just love microwaved baked goods? They have a "certain" quality. (And I'm certain it's awful.)

Peridot Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 2:25pm
post #17 of 60

I heard the same rumor last year and there was more than enough canned Libby's pumpkin on store shelves in Wisconsin.

I put this one once again in the same category as all of the other shortages that people cause for themselves. A lot of BS......

KristyDi Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 2:52pm
post #18 of 60

No one in my area has canned pumpkin puree. I called 6 different places and one told me they had it. I hopped in the car to go grab some and found that they had 6 cans of pumpkin pie mix, not puree. icon_rolleyes.gif I very politely informed the 12 year old manager (actually he was probably 22 or so) that pie mix and puree were not the same thing. It was the Farmer's Market Organic brand. not Libbys though. I went ahead and bought some pie pumpkins and butternut squash from the produce section to make my own puree.

I did call Libbys to confirm that pumpkin was coming. The lady on the phone confirmed that there was a shortage because "unfavorable weather" had made harvesting difficult and said they expected to have pumpkin in the stores by the end of September. She also offered to send me some coupons in the mail for my trouble.

LindaF144a Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 2:55pm
post #19 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxymomma521

I have tons in my area... my Wegman's has carried it all year. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000HDI5O8/?tag=cakecentral-20
Amazon has some, just over $2 a can, so not bad.




Wegmans has been carrying the organic brand, the only one available in the US. My local Tops has nothing. Thank goodness Wegmans at least found an alternative rather than selling nothing at all.

Yes, I noticed this too when I went to buy some. We did some research and found the same thing. It is supposed to improve with this harvest.

Pumpkin is actually made with either sweet pumpkin or hubbard squash which is sweeter than pumpkin. Also in a pinch you can use butternut squash which also tastes like pumpkin and is sweeter. If you haven't noticed yet, check it out the next time you open a can of pumpkin. It smells exactly like butternut squash.

I have been buying extra cans of pumpkin every time I go to Weggies. Looks like I better buy some more today.

LindaF144a Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 3:02pm
post #20 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankdiabetes

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxymomma521

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000HDI5O8/?tag=cakecentral-20
Amazon has some, just over $2 a can, so not bad.



I too was worried about the pumpkin shortage, so I bought a case of that on Amazon, but I just read the Cook's Illustrated review of this brand and it's unfavorable. It's called "vegetal and chalky"...I haven't tried it yet, but we'll see how it is!




That has not been my experience. I make absolutely fantastic pumpkin spice cake with this and it is not vegatal and chalky. Vegatal?? Really, WTF? Pumpkin is a vegetable. Chalky? I don't get that.

I used to be in love with everything CI said, then I tried some of their recipes. Every time I am met with failure. I finally gave up on them. The clincher was the perfect chocolate cupcake that is so tweaked to perfection that I swear if you breathed the wrong way the author did it will fail. And I am not the only either. On their forum others have brought up the same issue with that recipe. I got tired of making things that are made to their taste and not for the science behind it. At first I thought it was cool that they tested "47 different recipes" for a cake. Then I thought, hey wait a minute why do they need to test that many? Aren't they schooled in cake formula balance and should be able to read the recipe and figure out what where a recipe is off balanced? Then I realized the only difference between them and me is they are paid and their ingredients are paid for and they get to write a magazine about it and I get none of those things. So now I go back to my own analysis and recipe making. I'm much happier now that I don't think I've failed because it didn't work the same for me as it did for CI.

Sorry, off my soapbox. It's just that this has been a new epiphany about this magazine for in the last week.

Malakin Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 3:20pm
post #21 of 60

It was rumored in these parts last year, and sure enough, there was none no where in 5 counties in my surrounding area to be found on the shelf. I hope that doens't happen again this year.

Minstrelmiss Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 3:33pm
post #22 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by KristyDi

I did call Libbys to confirm that pumpkin was coming. The lady on the phone confirmed that there was a shortage because "unfavorable weather" had made harvesting difficult and said they expected to have pumpkin in the stores by the end of September. She also offered to send me some coupons in the mail for my trouble.





Oh! I've had trouble too! Coupons for all!

hehehe...

Joyfull4444 Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 4:46pm
post #23 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144


I used to be in love with everything CI said, then I tried some of their recipes. Every time I am met with failure. I finally gave up on them. The clincher was the perfect chocolate cupcake that is so tweaked to perfection that I swear if you breathed the wrong way the author did it will fail. And I am not the only either. On their forum others have brought up the same issue with that recipe. I got tired of making things that are made to their taste and not for the science behind it. At first I thought it was cool that they tested "47 different recipes" for a cake. Then I thought, hey wait a minute why do they need to test that many? Aren't they schooled in cake formula balance and should be able to read the recipe and figure out what where a recipe is off balanced? Then I realized the only difference between them and me is they are paid and their ingredients are paid for and they get to write a magazine about it and I get none of those things. So now I go back to my own analysis and recipe making. I'm much happier now that I don't think I've failed because it didn't work the same for me as it did for CI.

Sorry, off my soapbox. It's just that this has been a new epiphany about this magazine for in the last week.




Oh good to know I'm not the only one! I used to think CI was the bees knees on cooking and baking, as they did soooo much experimenting & testing beforehand. I always bought thier lastest Mags, and did have a couple of their cookbooks, but got rid of them some time ago. I don't know why, but it seemed like anything I tried from CI, only turned out so so. Never fantastic like one would think.

Julie53 Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 5:17pm
post #24 of 60

I am in VA. It has been impossible to find them here too! I did try the"expensive organic cans" in some recipes and it ruined the cookies... they spread way to much and did not taste good. Give me my good old Libbys any day! I did see cans on eBay but very expensive & then shipping on top. So, no way ~~~~I will hoard my last few cans of Libby's and wait for the new shipments!

mommicakes Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 5:19pm
post #25 of 60

I called and spoke with someone at the help desk @ Libby's. What has been written about the wet and flooded fields is correct. I have not seen canned pumpkin on the shelves all year in any of the stores in my area! I finally got fed up with it and called. Woman there was very nice, & did tell me what happened. I was told that we should start seeing it back on the store shelves by the middle to the end of Sept. and I received a couple of coupons. I have clients that want me to use pumpkin as a substitute for their ingredients in cupcakes/cakes.

So I believe there is a light at the end of the missing canned pumpkin on the shelves. lets hope it shines brighter very soon.

KristyDi Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 5:30pm
post #26 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minstrelmiss

Quote:
Originally Posted by KristyDi

I did call Libbys to confirm that pumpkin was coming. The lady on the phone confirmed that there was a shortage because "unfavorable weather" had made harvesting difficult and said they expected to have pumpkin in the stores by the end of September. She also offered to send me some coupons in the mail for my trouble.




Oh! I've had trouble too! Coupons for all!

hehehe...




I had the feeling she was reading a prepared script so if you want coupons you should call. I bet you'd get them.

Guys, making pumpkin puree is really simple. It takes a while, but most of the time is baking and draining time where you could be doing something else. I did it yesterday since I couldn't find the canned and my DH really wants pumpkin cupcakes.

You can use pie pumpkins, butternut squash, hubbard squash etc. You can use jack-o-lantern pumpkins, but they're stringy and lack flavor.

You cut the squash in half, scoop out the guts and seeds and place it cut side down in a backing dish. Add a bit of water to the bottom of the dish and cover with foil. Bake @ 350 till the flesh is soft. Scoop the flesh out of the skin and mash then drain in a cheese cloth (I actually prefer a clean flour sack towel) lined colander for a few hours till it's about the same consistency as the canned stuff. You can use it right then or freeze in 2 cup portions as 2 cups = 1 can.

TerriLynn Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 5:46pm
post #27 of 60

So glad somebody brought this up. Last night I needed a can of pumpkin pie mix or canned pumpkin for pumpkin spice muffins. Went to two stores with no relief in sight. I bought something else and winged it, but now I am dang determined to get me some pumpkin. ha ha! icon_biggrin.gif

Julie53 Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 5:51pm
post #28 of 60

I just got off of the phone with Libby's... he assured me by the end of this month we will see them in stores. He also is sending me coupons & recipes for my trouble. I can't believe that people are getting $8.00 & more a can on eBay...plus shipping! Oh well- to each his own. I will wait a few more weeks.

TerriLynn Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 5:53pm
post #29 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie53

I just got off of the phone with Libby's... he assured me by the end of this month we will see them in stores. He also is sending me coupons & recipes for my trouble. I can't believe that people are getting $8.00 & more a can on eBay...plus shipping! Oh well- to each his own. I will wait a few more weeks.



Okay -- That does it...I'm gonna call Libby's and sound pitiful so I can get some coupons and recipes. ha ha !

LindaF144a Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 6:36pm
post #30 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie53

I am in VA. It has been impossible to find them here too! I did try the"expensive organic cans" in some recipes and it ruined the cookies... they spread way to much and did not taste good. Give me my good old Libbys any day! I did see cans on eBay but very expensive & then shipping on top. So, no way ~~~~I will hoard my last few cans of Libby's and wait for the new shipments!




seeing how this is 100% organic, it could not be there are any fillers. Possibly they use a different kind of pumpkin than Libby's.

But I'm also wondering, could it be there is more liquid in this brand than Libby's. Like the poster said who made her own you could try putting it in a cheese cloth over a strainer and condensing it down. I know you shouldn't have to do this with the price they charge, but it may work until the Libby's comes back on the market. And don't you know we will all be buying it by the case! icon_wink.gif

I'm going to try making my own as suggested. Gotta check and see what kind of "pumpkin" I can get a local grocer and go from there.

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