'Desperate' mum's plea after catching baby formula hoarders emptying shelves

A furious Brisbane mum has publicly shamed a group of organised shoppers after catching them stripping supermarket shelves of all baby formulas.

Jessica Hook told News Corp she has spent much of her child’s eight-month life struggling to find the right brand of formula due to Australian shoppers stockpiling the major brands and onselling the products to other countries.

After being informed one supermarket would be restocking Aptamil Gold, the brand of formula she feeds her eight-month-old daughter, the 27-year-old mother ensured she arrived early the next morning.

“Last week, when I really struggled, I was phoning up stores asking if they had any. A lot of Woolies and Coles now will put a tin of each type in the locked-up cupboard where they sell cigarettes, to sell to desperate mums," Ms Hook said.

Crafty shoppers have been spotted working in groups to strip supermarket shelves of the in-demand baby formulas. Source: Supplied
Chinese students have been reported to earn up to $3000 a week selling health products and baby formula to people in China. Source: Supplied

Australian shoppers have been spotted online charging $490 for three tins of formula that would retail in supermarkets for a combined total of just $75.

While Ms Hook was grateful to find a singular $25 tin, it was the well-orchestrated syndicate unfolding in front of her that sent her blood boiling.

She said she witnessed shoppers working in teams to beat the “four tin maximum”, taking it in turns to strip the shelves clean.

“They’re [supermarkets] very conscious of saying, it’s not a racial thing, it’s just always a particular demographic, they come in groups, work as a team and clear the shelves,” she said.

Ms Hook said supermarkets now kept one or two emergency tins locked away for desperate mums. Source: Supplied
Organic baby formula is often placed as orders from friends and relatives in China. Photo: Supplied

Despite her frustrations, Ms Hook said she couldn't see a blanket solution for the problem.

“Lucky I was finally able to actually get a tin, but my heart aches for the countless other desperate mothers who will make the trip there ... and come away empty-handed.

They’re obviously having to deal with a lot of upset mothers — they all know that it’s a serious problem."

According to Business Insider Australia, it’s seen Chinese students make up to $3000 a week selling health products and baby formula to people in China.