RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The North Carolina Attorney General’s Office has received more than a dozen complaints of baby formula price gouging.
In recent weeks, parents have struggled to find specific kinds of baby formula. Part of the shortage is because of a recall of Abbott Nutrition formula in February due to safety issues. Abbott is the nation’s largest formula manufacturing plant.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has issued a consumer alert warning parents about potential scammers looking to take advantage of the current shortage. Stein’s office asked people to report price gouging concerns to their office. Records from Stein’s office show 13 reports of price gouging as of Wednesday.
The priciest baby formula was reported by one shopper whose complaint said they saw a 12-ounce can of Similac Total Comfort promoted online for $158.
Another person who filed a complaint with the state said they’d previously purchased a 32-ounce can of Gerber GentlePro formula for $36.50.
“I’ve purchased it before from this retailer as every store it is the same price,” said the complaint. State records show that when that person tried purchasing the same size can on May 18, it cost them almost $45.
Another buyer who submitted a complaint said they previously purchased a 35-ounce can of Similac for $41.99. When they purchased that can on May 13, the same product cost them $51.86 on Amazon.
“The price is almost $10 more per can even when you buy the 3-pack. So I paid $30 more for formula,” said the complaint.
A Durham woman said she purchased Enfamil infant formula at Walgreens at $20 for a 19-ounce can in April. When the buyer purchased it again in May, the cost was $40.
The complaint said, “Even the person checking out commented on the outrageous price.”