Pumpkin Shortage of 2009

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on September 22, 2009

Update: If you’d like to know how to cook a pumpkin in your slow cooker, Toni has a great tutorial!

I’m hearing from all sorts of places (Facebook, Twitter, message boards, and here) that there indeed is a canned pumpkin shortage.

There was bad weather during last year’s crop that ruined about 1/3 of the crop…resulting in the shortage on grocery shelves today.  I know my grocery store has been out for weeks.  And others in Indiana, Iowa, California are also reporting difficulty finding this precious commodity and NECESSITY in their stores.

I share this not to induce widespread panic.  Just to let you know the situation.

So, if you see a can.  Buy it.

Is your store out??? Libby’s and Nestle are reassuring stores and their customers that the canned pumpkin will be on shelves again in the next few weeks.

If you are DESPERATE for canned pumpkin, look for an organic variety that might still be on the shelves, perhaps in a different part of your grocery store.

I don’t believe that we will all be without pumpkin pies at our Thanksgiving feasts this year! Nevermind that Libby’s canned pumpkin is responsible for the 50 million pumpkin pies each November!!!

Don’t panic!

Rest assured…You can substitute cooked butternut squash for pumpkin in most recipes.  They are very similar in consistency, and only differ slightly in color and taste.

And if all else fails…I’ll hold onto the can I bought yesterday and auction it off!

(Just kiddin’)


Are you having trouble finding canned pumpkin in your area?  Let us know “your area/store’s status”!

{ 206 comments… read them below or add one }

T. L. Labant September 5, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Live in Calabash, NC, no pumpkin here or Myrtle Beach, SC. Really miss it.


Pam Mills September 5, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Craving for pumpkin bars sabatoged in dixon, IL. And my aunts cant find it in Los Angeles, CA or in ID. Hope it reappears soon!


Lulu September 6, 2010 at 4:22 pm

My husband wanted me to make a pumpkin cheesecake-I have looked at Kroger, Target and Wal-Mart–and all are out. Bummer!


LesAlpert September 6, 2010 at 7:42 pm

I make pumpkins pies and breads all through the Fall season. I tried to find canned pumpkin in Frederick and Oakland, Maryland and Terra Alta, WV. No luck. Good thing I have 8 cans in reserve, but those won’t last be long. I’d better hoard two of them for Thanksgiving, just in case!


Momof4 September 7, 2010 at 10:20 pm

No pumpkin here in Ky. I just can’t imagine fall w/o pumpkin. :(


Pat September 9, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Still none here in Indianapolis!! I already have a recipe for sweet potato pie ready…


kristi September 9, 2010 at 1:54 pm

no pumpkin in northern IL. :( haven’t had any for MONTHS! I’m cravin punkin pie!!
people are selling it on Ebay. $30 for 4 (29 oz.) cans, plus about $12 shipping!!


Ali September 10, 2010 at 9:11 am

I recently substituted canned sweet potato pie filling in my pumpkin rolls and it was very close.


Suzanne September 10, 2010 at 9:53 am

None in southern Oklahoma. A friend tried to find some in ND to send, and none there either! :(


pam September 10, 2010 at 10:46 am

No pumpkin in Michigan – Kroger, Meijer, VG’s, Tenutas, small shops. Nowhere – and no pumpkin muffins for me . . .


maureen September 10, 2010 at 12:49 pm

We give our dog pumpkin every day -cannot find any but organic in Gaithersburg,Md.


rachel September 10, 2010 at 7:29 pm

no pumpkin in central indiana


Sandy September 11, 2010 at 4:05 pm

No pumpkin in Western PA since last Thanksgiving!


Evelyn September 12, 2010 at 9:05 am

GFS Marketplace stores have a supply of pumpkin, #10 size cans for $7.49, dont know how long it will last but they have it and it is going fast…gfs.com on the web to find a location


Evelyn September 12, 2010 at 9:07 am

GFS marketplace is based out of Grand Rapids, you should be able to find some there


Kathy Peters September 12, 2010 at 1:07 pm

I always cook the desserts on Thanksgiving and I have to fix anywhere from 10 to 14 pumpkin pies and cheesecakes. That’s all my family wants. One year I tried to trick with sweet potato instead, that was a joke. Be glad when it’s back.


Amanda September 13, 2010 at 9:05 am

I know, i live on fort knox, ky and i went to try to find it to make pumpkin bars and no luck at all, i am sooo bummed!


BARB CLYDE September 13, 2010 at 9:13 am



David September 13, 2010 at 12:06 pm

I live in Tremont, IL 5 miles from the Libby’s Pumpkin plant and can’t find it here either even tho loads of pumpkins are being delivered everyday to the plant.


Gloria September 13, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Can only find organic pumpkin in Northeastern Maine. My granddaughter and I made a pumpkin pie with it and it tasted totally different….not what we are used to. No Libby’s on One Pie found around here in a while.


Jeff September 13, 2010 at 2:14 pm

No Pumpkin in Phoenix.


D September 14, 2010 at 11:59 am

Can not find pumpkin in Shreveport/Bossier City, LA


alice shanks September 15, 2010 at 12:17 pm

I cannot find canned pumpkin in Krogers in Belpre, Ohio or in WalMart in parkersburg WV.


laurel stanley September 16, 2010 at 1:44 pm

i have been searching for pumpkin for about 2 months and have not seen any in parkersburg stores. guess when i do i better buy a case to last


Cindy P September 17, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Well, at least I don’t feel so bad..thought it was just the Olympia Wa area that had ZERO canned pumpkin.


Yvonne Johnaon September 21, 2010 at 10:43 am

Plenty of canned pumpkin in Mpls., Mn


Beth September 25, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Only organic pumpkin available here in Herkimer, New York. I haven’t seen Libby’s on the shelf since winter. I am a big pumpkin fan & it saddens me :(


David Pritt September 26, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Haven’t been able to find canned pumpkin in central West Virginia at Wal Mart, Kroger or Foodland.


Laura September 27, 2010 at 4:01 pm

I bwwn looking for weeks live in Kent ohio, and have not fouind any can pumkin un the stores either.gone to Walmark ,Save a Lot


Ruth September 30, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Neither the commissary or the local Ralphs had canned pumpkin. I thought the manger was giving me a line, but I see maybe it IS true! Found some organic at Henry’s in San Diego.


Janet October 2, 2010 at 10:16 am

Just found cases of Libby Pumpkin on the shelves of WalMart in Logan Utah. Left with two large bags full. Nestle claims their Libby pumpkins are 1/3 harvested and we should be seeing it arrive in stores soon. This may be a good sign. It wasn’t there just last week.


Nyssa October 3, 2010 at 4:20 am

One of the reasons people can’t find it in stores is that there are a lot of greedy people buying it all up and then going over to Ebay and selling it at ridiculously high prices. This is FOOD people!! It is NOT meant to be sold as if it was gold. Buying it all up by the case and then re-selling it for exorbitant amounts so that only wealthy people can afford it, is FLAT out wrong and VERY selfish. I think stores need to start setting limits as to how much people can buy so others can have a chance at buying some for their pies. The rule needs to be, that if you are NOT going to eat every can you buy, yourself, then you don’t buy it. Leave it for those who need to buy it in order to make pies. I was so upset last year, and so was my mother, to find out that people had bought it all up and resold it for extremely high prices on ebay. Needless to say, we didn’t get any pie last year as a result, since we are used to the Libby’s. Since I am seeing this sort of thing happening AGAIN on ebay, I may just call Libby’s and let them know what exactly is going on, since it is just ticking me off. The pie filling is for EVERYONE. People need to stop being so greedy and SHARE. If this continues, I bet I get no pie again this year. :( To those that think it is all theirs to take for re-sale: If you REALLY want to re-sell, then re-sell at the actual price you paid for it(and post the receipt as proof.), so everyone can have a chance at eating pie this year. The Libby’s filling shouldn’t be just for the people who have the money to waste an exorbitant amount of money on a small amount of food.


judy in groveland February 25, 2011 at 11:32 am

I agree completely! This summer I may have to grow my own pumpkin! Now there’s a thought!


kelsey October 19, 2010 at 6:48 pm

I thought the shortage was last year. Sigh. No pumpkin still. Not since last fall. The only place I have seen canned pumpkin in the last year was in Whole Foods– but at about $3 a can. I guess I will go back there.


Jewel October 23, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Found pumpkin in Arlington, TX and Copperas Cove, Texas.
My Mom and I stocked up…not going to be caught without it again!! HAHAHA
Check you local HEB and Kroger grocery stores!


Sandy October 23, 2010 at 11:47 pm

tons of pumpkin here ! at least last time i checked. i’ve already made a wonderful pumpkin spice cake.
summerville, south carolina


tom November 9, 2010 at 8:15 pm

i hope this doesn’t spoil your halloween.
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judy in groveland February 25, 2011 at 11:29 am

It’s 2011 and I still can’t get canned pumpkin (other than organic) for my dogs! It’s available on ebay if you want to spend shipping costs! I just wonder if cooking fresh squash instead of using canned pumpkin would work for our pets? After all, pumpkin IS a squash!


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom February 25, 2011 at 11:58 am

It should!


Karen September 12, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Its September 2011 now, and I have been looking for about a month at our local stores for canned pumpkin. I don’t know if I can pass of squash to my kids. They want pancakes and I want pumpkin bread!


Stehen September 17, 2011 at 6:16 pm

I live in Colorado, I grew up on Kuners Pumpkin mix,

City Market, Saveway stores havent carried since last. Anyone know where to buy. thanks


Eleanor September 21, 2011 at 8:06 pm

I live in Hollidaysburg, Pa and haven’t been able to purchase pumpkin of any kind for 2 years. They claim this year it is because of all the rain. Well my granddaughter lives in N.J. and they received more rain and flooding than us and she can get all the pumpkin she wants. Thanks to her she did bring some home to her mother so I now have 2 cans. Ohio also can get pumpkin as their Wal Mart stores are having big sales this week on it. Something just doesn’t sound right!


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