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Why You Can't Find This Popular Fall Baking Ingredient on Shelves

No bulk buying here — there's another reason this staple is gone.

It's finally pumpkin season and there's no better time than now to decorate, carve, and bake with the insanely popular fall produce. While the season only started in late September, there are already empty grocery store shelves where pumpkin should be. Experts are stressing, though, that there is not a pumpkin shortage. But there is a surprising reason why canned pumpkin, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie mix are missing.

Blame the rain! Or, a lack thereof. Overall, drier weather is usually good for growing pumpkins, John Ackerman of Ackerman Family Farms in Morton, Ill. told Allrecipes. This is because when the ground is too wet it can lead to diseased plants. But this year a rain delay meant pumpkin seeds were planted later than usual. So this means there is no pumpkin shortage, only that the harvest will be later, according to the website.

What grocery stores did have in stock went quickly. With people at home more than ever now because of the coronavirus pandemic, baking is a popular pastime. (While pumpkin is making its way back, here are 8 Grocery items That May Soon Be in Short Supply.)

"When the pandemic started, everyone was staying at home and baking," a store manager at a supermarket in Murrysville, Pa. says, according to Trib Live. "They bought up all the stock that was supposed to last through late summer and early fall."

A brand manager for Libby's pumpkin says early October is when the company starts shipping pumpkin to grocery stores. So if your local supermarket is still out, rest assured pumpkin will most likely be in stock soon.

Before you get busy with some of these 33 delicious pumpkin recipes, remember that canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie mix are not the same thing. One is usually purely pumpkin, while the other is full of sugar for a quick and easy pumpkin pie.

For more on pumpkin and its health benefits, here is what happens to your body when you eat canned pumpkin.

Amanda McDonald
Amanda has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Loyola University Chicago. Read more about Amanda
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