Was there a pumpkin shortage this year? Here’s what we found

pumpkin Whole Foods
On Halloween Day, pumpkins are scarce at Whole Foods. (Grace Howard / Bham Now)

From carving jack-o-lanterns to seasonal desserts, pumpkins are basically the mascot of the fall season—but this year, they may be harder to find. As a result of shortages caused by droughts earlier this year, pumpkins may be in short supply across many supermarkets.

Weather may have caused a pumpkin shortage

In a story by Southern Living earlier this month, farmers reported that it’s been a tough growing season for pumpkins and other fall harvests. Alongside increased demand during the holiday season, everything from drought in Texas to record rainfall in Kentucky has caused crops to produce smaller yields in certain regions.

So, what does the pumpkin supply look like in Birmingham this year? We stopped at a few grocery stores to check out the pumpkin selection. Here’s what we found:

We asked the staff at Pepper Place to weigh in.

“Some farmers have had trouble with growing certain varieties, but no more than last year. Also, some that don’t have field irrigation have struggled with the on-going drought.”

Lisa Beasley, Market Manager at Pepper Place

Pumpkin shortage or increased demand?

According to Pepper Place’s Leigh Sloss-Cara, there may not be less pumpkins this year, just more people buying more pumpkins.

“In my opinion, there’s also been an increase in demand, with the COVID recovery and people spending so much more on Halloween this year. The decorating trend is not one carved pumpkin next to the front door, but to have 20 decorating your stairs and driveway too. People really went all out this year, and maybe that impacted the pumpkin supply.”

Leigh Sloss-Cara, Executive Director at Pepper Place

The verdict? It looks like the Birmingham community went all out celebrating spooky season this year.

Did you get a chance to carve pumpkins this year? Tag us @bhamnow on Instagram and Facebook and show us your spookiest creations.

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Grace Howard
Grace Howard
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