Tampon Shortage

ICYMI: there’s a tampon shortage. If you’re a man and that made you feel uncomfortable, I’m sorry. Trust me: somewhere a woman you know is feeling even more uncomfortable after perusing near-empty shelves, or worse yet, finding she can’t even afford this basic necessity.

Because prices for feminine hygiene products have increased by almost 11% in the last year. That’s more than double the amount that oral hygiene prices have increased in the same time period.

Meanwhile, as the article points out, “P&G posted its biggest sales gain in decades in the most recent quarter, and the amount of money it made from sales in its feminine-care division was up 10%.” Tampons are big money for these companies. And raising prices is a no-brainer from a business standpoint. After all, “…people who get their periods every month have to keep buying tampons just as regularly.”

According to one female CEO interviewed for this particular article, “…there’s been no push to solve this supply problem, she argues, because many of the people determining prices and availability for feminine-care products do not use them.” I mean, that makes sense. The people who lead the companies who manufacture tampons (P&G, Edgewell, Unilever) are men. So they may not have considered that raw materials shortages and staffing shortages would impact feminine hygiene products. They might not also be considering the impact of this 10.8% increase on basic necessities that only women use. That’s why this article wraps up with this line from Thyme Sullivan: “It’s why we need to bring men into the conversation, because in many places, they’re still the decision-makers, and this wasn’t on their radar.”

So…men…welcome to the conversation (assuming you’re still reading this post about tampons). There’s a tampon shortage. And also we need reasonably priced feminine hygiene products. They’re a necessity.

Fellow women (or men): consider whether or not you can donate and share with those less fortunate (Check out the The Homeless Period Project for example). Or I know I, as well as many of my colleagues, keep a stash on hand for students in need (whether they have one of those potentially humiliating surprises or just come up short with their own supply). I’ve been giving out tampons to girls at work since I started in 2004. My own local stores were pretty bare today.

Thanks for coming to my JennTalk ™️.

*This article is on pg. 19 of the June 20/June 27, 2022 edition of Time Magazine.

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