Pumpkin Shortage of 2010

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on September 3, 2010

Image from Dairy Free Pumpkin Pecan Bars

Well, it would seem that the Pumpkin Shortage of 2009 continues on into the holiday season of 2010.

The shelves remain empty. Still.

But I would imagine come November 1st, the canned pumpkin will start to show up again on store’s shelves…just in time for the biggest pumpkin pie fest ever! (Did you know that over 50 million pumpkin pies are baked on Thanksgiving day?!)

I can just see it now…we have all been so deprived of our canned pumpkin…I mean…it’s been 2 years now, right.  We’ve all learned our lesson and we know better this time to STOCK UP!!!  This could get really ugly…12 people vying for that last can from the holiday shipment. Oy!

Just remember to look for organic variety that may still be sitting on the shelf, perhaps in another part of your grocery store. Of course, you can make your own pumpkin puree, or use baked butternut squash in place of pumpkin puree.

And if all else fails and you are completely desperate to make some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins…you can order organic canned pumpkin puree from Amazon. But you’re going to pay a pretty penny for it!

Just promise me…no elbow throwing or cart shoving when it does show up on the shelves…m’kay?!

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

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

{ 107 comments… read them below or add one }

Carrie September 3, 2010 at 7:18 am

I still have one can in the pantry. I also have a sweet pumpkin pie pumpkin plant in the garden that has 4 good pumpkins going and maybe more on the way. I suddenly feel very prepared for this fall!

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Fran September 3, 2010 at 7:27 am

I heard about this last year but I never had any real trouble finding pumpkin when I needed it. I made a lot of pumpkin cookies last holiday season!! Can’t wait to make some this year. Maybe I’ll buy a can or two a week until I need them…..

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Trish @IamSucceeding September 3, 2010 at 7:49 am

I can find the organic brands but no others.

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Heidi September 3, 2010 at 7:59 am

I had this problem last week when my little girl Lexie insisted on making pumpkin cheesecake. Four stores later we were out of luck and tired. Not one can anywere not even Wal-mart. She was so dissapointed and so was I.

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Andrea September 3, 2010 at 8:00 am

The first year we were in Jordan (2008), I drove all over that country looking for pumpkin! I had no idea I would have the same issue this year! Oy.

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Denise@ DensDailyLife September 3, 2010 at 8:03 am

I just asked at my store yesterday about Libby’s pumpkin – they have none on the shelves either, I wanted to make the pumpkin cookies that my daughter loves. They did have large cans of pumpkin pie mix or an organic alternative of real pumpkin (which I might have to get even though it’s double the price).

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Nadine September 3, 2010 at 8:08 am

I live in SW Georgia, and I have not been able to find canned pumpkin for the last 6 months! I have looked in every grocery store I have gone into. I cannot wait for November, I WILL be stocking up BIG time! :)

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Rhonda September 3, 2010 at 8:09 am

Hmm, I haven’t had any problems finding canned pumpkin here in New York. My Wegmans has them on the bottom shelf under the jello/pudding boxes. They were there last year and I’ve always been able to get them when I need them. (it’s not often)

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Heidi September 3, 2010 at 8:12 am

Just talked to the live chat on the Libby’s site and this is what they told me.

“Mike: Unfortunately, due to unfavorable weather conditions last fall, our harvest was smaller than normal and this caused a shortage in our supply. We anticipate that the product will be available in stores by the end of this month.”

I am ready!

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jan September 3, 2010 at 8:23 am

it’s not the season yet… but it’s obviously time to start stalking and stashing cans.

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Cynthia September 3, 2010 at 8:26 am

In years past I had found cans on clearance after the holidays and stocked up. Last year there was none to be found even before the holiday, and the rare can I did find had a hefty markup. I used fresh sweet potatoes instead. At the holidays they were only .29/lb! All you have to do is pierce and roast for about 45 minutes, cool and they fall right out of the skins. I substituted the sweet potato puree in my recipes, and we had a sweet potato pie instead of pumpkin. No one was any the wiser!

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Melinda September 3, 2010 at 8:30 am

I’m so thankful for our bumper crop of butternut squash 2 years ago. I canned up many pints and still have some to use. That’s a good thing since we had no squash or pumpkin even come up in the garden this year.

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Rachel September 3, 2010 at 8:52 am

I still have a can from last year but the shelves were full when I was on the baking aisle the other day…. interesting. :-)
Thanks for keeping us up to date, Erin ;-)

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Rachel (Hounds in the Kitchen) September 3, 2010 at 8:55 am

Every year I puree and freeze pie pumpkins from local farmers. This year I grew my own and have 10 pie pumpkins ready to be used. No shortage here!

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Sarah (Frontier Kitchen) September 3, 2010 at 8:58 am

I actually made pumpkin puree last year because I was so desperate. It’s really super easy. Grab a pie pumpkin, slice it in half, brush a bit of oil on, roast it at 375 for at least 30 minutes. It was so fun to make a pumpkin pie completely from scratch. I think I’ll do it again this year just for the heck of it. :)

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Staci A September 3, 2010 at 10:32 am

Our stores have been out for months. So when my 6 year old started requesting pumpkin dip last week, I had to call relatives to find some. Luckily my mil stocked up last year and was willing to share! It made for one happy little boy!

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Amy September 3, 2010 at 10:37 am

I’ve heard you can use mashed sweet potatoes in place of pumpkin. Is this true?

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Alea September 3, 2010 at 11:48 am

@Amy – Yes, you can use pureed sweet potatoes and an advantage to pureed sweet potatoes is that you can reduce the sugar a little bit. When I replaced the pumpkin with sweet potatoes in my pumpkin donut recipe, I was able to reduce the sugar 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup. My daughter declared them the “best pumpkin donuts ever”.

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Kirsten H September 3, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Stores have been mostly out of pumpkin here since last winter, though at least one local grocery store had some in stock recently. I have seen signs up that new supplies of pumpkin are supposed to arrive in late September.

Because of the 2009 shortage, my mom and I both grew our own this year. She doesn’t even really like pumpkin, so she is giving all hers to me. I think I will have four in my garden and she has seven in hers, so I should be good to go…at least for a couple months. :-) With no supply problems I could easily use 2-4 cans per month for my own cooking and baking. I LOVE pumpkin so it has been a disappointing year for me not being able to buy as much as I would like.

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Robin September 3, 2010 at 1:15 pm

I have also been looking for canned pumpkin. I will buy a ton when the stores finally get it!
These look fantastic BTW.

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Crystal's Cozy Kitchen September 3, 2010 at 1:18 pm

You can also use pureed carrots as a substitute for pumpkin in pumpkin cookies – works great!

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Marguerite September 3, 2010 at 3:59 pm

They must have sent most of their stock to Texas, because we’ve had it on the shelves without a problem every time I’ve thought to look… I don’t use pumpkin all that much, but whenever anyone mentions it I notice we have pumpkin on the shelves in my local HEB. I could start shipping it out to ya’ll ;)

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom September 4, 2010 at 6:47 am

@Marguerite,

I am in TX at the moment and will stop into an HEB to get some and take home!!!

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Jean September 3, 2010 at 9:05 pm

I’ve been craving those pumpkin choc chip muffins – why did you have to blog about them & make me try them?! I am going to buy several cans when I see them, as well as buy some pumpkins @ the farmer’s market & make some of my own to freeze. I don’t ever want to be out ever again!

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Anne September 3, 2010 at 9:56 pm

I mostly use pureed pumpkin that I make myself from fresh pumpkins, but last year, I frequently bought canned pumpkin as a “first food” for my DS, and never had trouble finding it. I like to use it to make pumpkin spiced lattes too… yum! Anyway, I’ve never noticed a shortage around here, that’s weird.

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Feifel September 4, 2010 at 3:48 am

Southern Illinois has been out of pumpkin since last December. I use baby food jars of pureed squash, full of vitamin A, in my pancakes and muffins, turns out quite nice. Use sweet potatoes to replace pumpkin in pie, again more Vitamin A and yummy. The baby food squash tastes amazingly like pumpkin in pancake and muffin recipes. Pumpkin showed up on our shelves here last November and was gone in a day and we had to wait two weeks for more. Hopefully, local grocers realize the need and will stock up better this year. I will check this week-end to see if they know when supply will come.

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Clara September 4, 2010 at 11:29 am

Still have a few from last year. Getting ready for pumpkin spice pancakes in the morning. Baking of muffins and bread too. Only the two of us now. Grocery purchases have went way down.

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alexis September 4, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Our local farmers are starting to have an abundance of pumpkins. They are one of the easiest veggies to preserve–the oven really does all the work. Then put them in your freezer. Not only do you support your local economy, you save yourself money, its better for your health having more nutrients being so close to home, and we aren’t relying on a corporation to provide us our food!

I’m off my soapbox now :)

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Linda September 4, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Seems Longmont, Colorado is out of pumpkin. Though I admit I forgot to check at Natural Grocers…..I was lucky to find a big can in the pantry for some yummy pumpkin bars!

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Linda September 4, 2010 at 7:50 pm

I live in a small town in north Texas and we have not had a problem finding canned pumpkin.Dollar stores even have it.

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Emily September 6, 2010 at 9:43 am

I can’t find any canned pumpkin locally either. The shelves are empty. I actually just ordered the organic pumpkin from amazon because believe it or not it’s the same price as Libby’s at my store! I haven’t had my pumpkin chocolate chip muffins in way too long.. my family missed them!

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JeNell September 6, 2010 at 11:28 am

Still no pumpkin at Wal-Mart on US 49 in Gulfport, MS., or any of the other stores in my town. Sure won’t be like Thanksgiving without it.

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Shannon September 6, 2010 at 1:11 pm

I have been bugging my local Bel Air in Roseville, CA for over three weeks about ‘why isn’t there any pumpkin?’ The claim complete ignorance of the ‘shortage’. At least now I know I’m not a paranoid, conspiracy theorist! I happen to have 20 pumpkins growing in my own garden right now, so, I guess I’m going to be making my own canned pumpkin this fall.

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Cindy September 7, 2010 at 7:34 am

Every year I bake between 150-200 pumpkin rolls. Last year when I heard that the pumpkin crop got flooded, I started to buy extra cans everytime I was at the grocery store just in case we couldn’t get it this year. There has been no canned pumpkin on the shelves in months. Every time I go I see someone hunting for it. So glad I stocked up last year and don’t have to worry about my sales for this year. I have enough to make at least 150. I will bake until it is gone and then quit. Between the fact that they keep saying eggs are going to $5 a dozen, the high price of cream cheese and the shortage of pumpkin…..wow…..prices are going to go up.

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Jenny September 7, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I haven’t noticed a shortage here in NE Mississippi. Sounds like we were some of the lucky ones! Our cub scout pack planted sugar pumpkin seeds for Earth Day this spring, and I have vines going crazy all over the back yard. I’ve never been a fan of pumpkin flavored things, but my family is. Then I tried fresh pumpkins, roasted and pureed. Oh yummy! My favorite pumpkin recipe is the Hungry Girl peanut butter “fudge”.

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Sarah Roe September 7, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I am from Upstate NY, near Binghamton, and we have not been able to find canned pumpkin in a long time. So depressing. Now that it is September, we are all getting the itch to make baked things with..pumpkin!! I hope it comes back soon. I don’t mind making things with sweet potato, but canned pumpkin is so much easier.

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Ali bee September 7, 2010 at 11:44 pm

I live in Southern California and I have looked at every market you can think of with no luck. I bought a frozen pie on sale just to get the itch scratched and it was terrible. I will continue to look but I might soon be one of the people buying off of ebay.

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Anna September 8, 2010 at 12:40 am

No canned pumpkin in Southern CA. :-( I feed it to my dogs to help with tummy problems and haven’t found it anywhere. Grocery stores don’t have any. I asked about Halloween pumpkins too and they said they didn’t know if they would get those in either… in the past I have used those to make my own pumpkin mash. I have just cut into slices and put into a pot of water to boil. When soft put them in the blender. Viola!

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Marion September 8, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Where are you?? I’m North of Austin, The HEBs near me have only organic. I bought a case of it last week at $2 a can which I did not think was a terrible price.

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Matt September 8, 2010 at 8:25 pm

I have been wanting some pumpkin puree for months to make a pumpkin cheesecake. Know about the pumpkin shortage since last year. Still kicking myself for not stocking up on it. My sister desperately needed some puree for a bread for Christmas. I gave her my last can of pie mix.

I have been going to grocery stores for the last few months a couple times a week even though I don’t need any food looking for puree. I get so angry whenever I go now since these groceries are selling pumpkin pies and other pumpkin baked goods and I can’t get any puree. Heck through this whole shortage there has been store made pumpkin pies at Kroger. The sad thing is store pumpkin pies always suck. I swear when I see some I am buying enough of it to make the cashiers think I am some type of weirdo. I also think Libby’s should issue some type of statement on when the puree and pie mix will be in stores and if there is going to be yet another shortage this year again.

But anyway I will be checking this site daily now in hopes I see some kind of news of pumpkin puree can sightings. And I am not joking about that.

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Ed September 8, 2010 at 8:34 pm

I haven’t seen any canned pumpkin in Effingham, IL for a long time. I started looking in early August, 2010.

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Susan September 8, 2010 at 9:58 pm

I have been looking all over the Denver Metro Area for canned pumpkin….No LUCK! It is a pumpkin crisis. No pumpkin bread for our Football Festivus party. Boo Hoo.

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Becky September 9, 2010 at 10:56 am

I have been looking since February for pumpkin and no luck! I usually do have a stockpile of canned pumpkin but last year I used all but 1 can up. Hope I find some before this year’s holiday season begins. I have never made pumpkin puree from real pumpkin. Please share with me (and others) exactly how that is done. I always heard how hard that was to do. Thank you in advance.

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Kate September 10, 2010 at 12:20 pm

I live in Sarasota, Fl and yup, you guys guessed it! No canned Pumpkin here either!! Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese is one of my all time favorite foods and being 6 months pregnant, it’s all I want!! Booo! I’m hoping to see some soon and now that I know about the shortage, I’ll definitely be stocking when I do find it.

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Heidi September 10, 2010 at 10:14 pm

I live in central IL just a few minutes from Libby’s primary processing plant. This area also produces much of the pumpkin that is canned. This article is from our local paper this week http://www.pjstar.com/business/x1757234214/Pumping-up-the-pumpkins. Sound like things will not be as bad as originally predicted!

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Paula Harris September 11, 2010 at 3:47 pm

No Pumpkin to be found in springfield ohio

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Ella Travis September 12, 2010 at 6:27 am

Still no canned pumpkin in the Southern California Antelope Valley!

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Steffielou September 12, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I live in southeast Louisiana, and have been looking for months for pumpkin for my lasagna and bread, with no luck. I thought I was imagining things, but I guess there is a major shortage.

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kelly September 12, 2010 at 4:35 pm

urg!!!! so frustrating. we love pumpkin, esp my husbands pumpkin soup. to us it is like not being able to buy milk for over a year. yesterday checked every store in our area. NONE AVAILABLE maybe this is a good reason not to let one company have a monopoly on any food product. pumpkin is a staple in new england, well at least it is to us. my husband said he would put an extra shelf in our walk-in pantry just for canned pumpkin once it hits the shelves.

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Alisha September 12, 2010 at 7:21 pm

No pumpkin here near Dayton Ohio! My local Meijers is now stocking canned sweet potato puree in the pie section with a little tag by it suggesting it to replace pumpkin! I have one large can of pumpkin puree and one large can of the pumpkin pie mix that I am afraid to use until its closer to Thanksgiving and I am able to get my hands on more pumpkin! That being said they have the small pie pumpkins for sale for 2$ per pumpkin now by the produce!

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Kevin Richards September 13, 2010 at 7:30 am

On Aug. 24 in St. Louis Post-Dispatch online suburban edition, Libby’s said they were on track to ship in time to stock store shelves “in mid-September.” Nothing yet in any of our grocery stores. (We still have a 15-ounce and a 29-ounce.) I’m amazed at how many shoppers are unaware of the shortage.

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