This is America – how can we have a shortage of baby formula? That’s the question many parents are asking as they face bare Soviet-style store shelves. In a country with ample means, how did America arrive at what is essentially a food shortage? How did three main domestic baby formula companies come to control 98% of their market? Parent or not, this issue has implications for everyone—it is a case study that involves government regulations, supply chain, monopolies under the guise of capitalism, and barriers to free trade. Or, as one of the podcast’s guests notes, “a perfect storm.”
Marc and Dany explore this puzzling situation with guests Annie Gasparro and Jesse Newman, Wall Street Journal reporters covering the scandal. Gasparro is a food reporter with the WSJ Chicago bureau and writes about packaged food companies and consumer tastes. Newman is also a food reporter with the WSJ corporate bureau, covering farmers, ranchers, and food companies.