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A Costco Field Trip
By André Angelantoni
Inspiring Green Leadership.com
I went to Costco on Sunday to assess how quickly they would run out of food if people quickly started to stock their pantries. I spoke to the supervisor and assessed 17 different items. Most of them were food but I also looked at rechargeable batteries.
Here is what I found for pasta.
*  Garofalo pasta in 6x500g packs are packaged 8 to a carton and sells for $7.29 a pack.
*  A skid has 6 cartons and is 3 layers high, which means there are 18 cartons.
*  A skid of pasta thus holds: 18 x 8 = 144 packs (of 6x500g)
Assuming that Costco rations pasta like they are currently doing for rice, some number of families less than 144 will empty the skid.
If the limit is 2 packs per person, the skid can provide enough pasta for 72 families. Given the traffic Costco has, this could be accomplished within hours of opening.
The supervisor said that they keep "one skid, sometimes a bit more, on the steel." By "steel," he was referring to the shelving above the ground floor. They do not have stock elsewhere in the warehouse; all their stock is on that shelving. I asked why there isn't rice other than Uncle Ben's (normally they have Basmati or Sushi rice), and his response was that they can't keep it in stock. It sells out the same day they put it out.
I've been told (but haven't yet confirmed), that the Bay Area has approximately four days of food in it. It does sound intuitively correct, though.
We are in all likelihood heading for some sort of food squeeze according to the United Nations.
Bottom line: Get into the habit now of having a sufficient supply of dried food in the pantry.
--André Angelantoni Inspiring Green Leadership
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