Lunchables, those pre-packaged meal kits featuring cheese, crackers, candy and miniature versions of kid faves such as pizza and hot dogs have gone missing from grocery store shelves. Even as the USDA extended free school meals throughout the 2021-2022 year, many kids are missing their go-to lunch and parents are at a loss as to what else to pack for them.
Kraft Heinz, the company that makes Lunchables told TODAY Food that they have seen an increase in demand for their product.
"Compared to 2019, nearly 2 million more households bought Kraft Heinz brands in the second quarter of 2021. We are also seeing all-time high demand for many of our brands, including Lunchables, which in that case has been driven by proactive steps and investments in marketing and brand renovation that deliver on expectations of modern parents and kids. As such, Lunchables is seeing double-digit growth for the first time in 5 years," the company said in a statement emailed to TODAY Food.
While some people suspect the shortage has to do with the supply chain issues that have become common during the COVID-19 pandemic, others think Lunchables are flying off the shelves due to the fact that after 18 months at home, parents just can't make any more meals (or argue with their kids about proper nutrition).
Some parents took to social media to report on the missing Lunchables.
"Every where u go no lunchables," one commenter wrote next to an image of a stack of a "Cracker Stacker Rocket" built of Lunchables kit with the hashtag #Lunchabuilds back in August.
"NO LUNCHABLES ANY WHERE!" commented another person.
"When are they going to be back in stores?😢" posted another fan of the food on a post dated September 1st.
But even as schools started up across the US, the problem still wasn't solved.
"Please restock all stores that sell your product because nobody can find lunchables any more across the US!!" wrote a customer on Instagram over the weekend.
Kraft Heinz assured Lunchables fans that when it comes to the shortage, they are on the case.
"We’re actively investing in our supply chains and have teams working fast and furiously so our retailers and consumers can get more of the Kraft Heinz products they love, wherever they like to shop," said the statement.
If you still can't find Lunchables on the shelves, try some of these suggestions for healthy school lunches your kid will actually want to eat.