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Pumpkin problems plague Calgarians ahead of Halloween

Calgarians scramble to find pumpkins days ahead of Halloween
WATCH: A shortage of pumpkins in some parts of Calgary has left many people scrambling to get their hands on one. Global’s Tomasia DaSilva explains what is behind the shortage.

With just a couple of sleeps to go until Halloween, the hunt is on to find the perfect pumpkin — or any pumpkin.

Some parts of Calgary are seeing a pumpkin shortage, with many stores putting up signs advising customers they have run out of the holiday favourite.

The 23 Co-op stores in the city are still getting shipments but officials said they sell out almost as soon as they hit store shelves.

“We’re hearing some stores are selling out in under an hour,” Co-op communications manager Sage Pullen McIntosh said.

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READ MORE: Pumpkin Population: Why you may want to buy your Pumpkin early this year

Pullen McIntosh added there are a few reasons for the run on pumpkins. Demand is one of them but so is supply.

“We’re hearing the cold weather certainly has been a factor in the pumpkin crop this year,” she said.

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Combine that with the fact many retailers are hesitant to order a large shipment ahead of time, and supply further dwindles.

“You don’t want to have a huge surplus where they’re going to go to waste,” Pullen McIntosh said. “It’s a bit of a balance: making sure you’re getting them at the right time and the customer can get them when they need them.”

All of those factors have meant shoppers, like Erika Gaudreault, have been left without a pumpkin.

“There were some before but now they’re all gone,” Gaudreault added. “And they’re all rotten — whatever is left anyway.”

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Shopper Colleen Breton was also on the hunt but left disappointed.

“Every year I leave it to a couple of days before (Halloween) and I can never find any,” she said.

WATCH: Pumpkin shortage in Calgary spurs creative carving this Halloween

Calgary mom Nikita Johnson also used to wait but doesn’t anymore.

“It does happen every year I find,” Johnson said. “Last year too, we were looking for one close to Halloween but we were smart this year and got them a couple of days ahead.”

For those who didn’t have the foresight to buy early, some stores like Co-op are getting last-minute shipments in but they don’t expect them to last long.

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Don’t have a pumpkin this year? Use a watermelon instead!
Don’t have a pumpkin this year? Use a watermelon instead! Tomasia DaSilva

And if all else fails, officials suggest you consider improvising — with a carved watermelon.