Bravo pasta sauce seekers create can shortage at Giant Tiger stores

VANCOUVER — Bravo pasta sauce fans are stocking up on the product that’s reappeared in some Giant Tiger stores after Kraft Canada announced it would bring the recently discontinued sauce back for a limited time following social media outcry.

While stores say they’re quickly running out of the pantry staple, die-hard fans hoping to buy a lifetime supply shouldn’t fret because more shipments will arrive soon.

“My phone has not stopped ringing for the last two days,” said Richard McKay, owner of a Giant Tiger store in Sudbury, Ont.

The store received about 4,000 cans on Nov. 27, which McKay said he put out on the floor that morning. By the evening, there wasn’t any left.

It’s a similar scene in many of the other Giant Tiger stores reached by The Canadian Press. Employees said some customers would leave with one or two, while others bought in bulk.

A Toronto-area store worker said their location received 144 cans on Tuesday and had less than two dozen left by Thursday morning.

A Brampton, Ont., store employee said the initial 128 cans their location received and promptly sold out of was a test and they’re awaiting a “by far” bigger shipment for January.

On Kraft Canada’s Facebook page, one Facebook user posted a photo showing a tower of more than a dozen flats of the sauce stacked that she said was in her home.

“I’ll fill up my whole room with it,” she said in the accompanying post, asking the company to bring it back permanently.

About 180,000 cans were shipped to Giant Tiger stores in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and P.E.I., said Alison Scarlett, a Giant Tiger spokeswoman, in an email. Certain stores in western provinces also received shipments, she said.

Some home cooks expressed frustration at how quickly the product sold out at nearby locations, especially when the company first announced the sauce would arrive in stores Dec. 10 rather than late November.

Kraft Canada did not respond to a request for comment, but the company answered consumer gripes on its Facebook account.

The sauce’s return is a limited time offer and individual stores determine whether to stock it, the company said, encouraging sauce seekers to scour their local Giant Tiger’s flyers to find out when it’ll be available again if it’s currently sold out.

Scarlett said some stores have sold out, but the company is doing its best to replenish supplies quickly.

McKay said he expects to receive another shipment by Dec. 10. He initially ordered 6,000 cans, but is now trying to get even more.

Though, McKay added, he’ll continue to limit customers to 12 cans per person.

The discontinued sauce returned after a Welland, Ont., man started an online petition, saying Kraft Canada’s decision left him with beloved family recipes he’ll no longer be able to make.

Nearly 11,000 people signed the petition urging the company to bring back the sauce and Kraft Canada announced in mid-November that it would make the product available for a limited time at Giant Tiger stores.

It has yet to make a commitment to permanently reinstate the sauce, despite continuing consumer pressure.

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