Coles and Woolworths customers have been frantically posting on social media in an attempt to get their hands on Smith's Tasty Toobs, which are selling out as soon as they hit shelves as demand soars.
Customers have been taking to Facebook to question Coles and Woolworths on the widespread unavailability of their favourite tomato-flavoured treat.
“Where are they? Never seen them in any stores yet,” a Coles shopper wrote in a post accompanied by a screenshot from the supermarket's website advertising the product.
The ad’s wording indicates that demand for the nostalgic savoury treats has been ongoing for some time.
Another customer also posted on Woolworths’s Facebook page, commenting the popular product seems to have come and gone in the blink of an eye.
“Has anyone been lucky enough to buy these?” the shopper wrote.
In a response, Woolworths confirmed more stock was incoming, but they were unable to provide arrival dates.
Some have likened the shortage to panic buying as purchase limits are reportedly being set in some stores.
Customers track Toobs sightings amid widespread shortages
As Coles and Woolworths online portals show Tasty Toobs as unavailable, customers are finding alternative ways to get their hands on the coveted treats.
Dedicated Facebook community “Bring Back Toobs Now” has been closely monitoring the Tasty Toobs situation, posting reviews and playful images regarding the product’s resurgence.
The Facebook page, which has more than 27,000 followers, regularly posts updates regarding Tasty Toobs availability, recently implementing a “sightings” spreadsheet, in the hopes of tracking down the widely demanded crisps.
“We’ve been asked to create this thread by several members of our community,” they wrote of the spreadsheet.
According to the spreadsheet, which is organised by sighting and by state, the most common places to purchase Tasty Toobs outside of Coles and Woolworths are 7/11 convenience stores, Drakes supermarkets and IGA stores.
Woolworths, Coles confirm more stock as Toobs availability tracked
Woolworths and Coles have confirmed to Yahoo News Australia more Tasty Toobs will be available in store soon.
“Tasty Toobs have been one of the largest re-launches the Coles snacks aisle has seen,” a Coles spokesperson said.
“Customers are incredibly nostalgic over this item and are buying the product in cartons as they don’t want to miss out.
“Inevitably, this is causing some issues with availability, but Coles customers will see more on the shelves in the coming weeks."
A Woolworths spokesperson has also confirmed the supermarket will be restocked shortly.
“Following the relaunch of Tasty Toobs, this old favourite has proven a hit with our customers,” the spokesperson said.
“There’s been significant demand for the limited edition snack and some stores may be running low on stock at the moment.
“We’re working closely with the supplier to bring forward deliveries and restock shelves in the coming weeks."
‘Don’t panic’: Smiths reassures customers
Tasty Toobs’s manufacturer Smiths has pleaded with customers to be patient, as more stock is set to arrive in stores.
Accompanying an image that reads “don’t panic”, Smiths uploaded a Facebook post stating that more Tasty Toobs are on their way.
“Wow, we are hearing that some shelves are already empty due to the unprecedented love for Tasty Toobs,” they wrote.
“Know that we are working hard with our retailers and suppliers to ensure there will be more than enough to go around.”
Smiths concluded the post stating that Tasty Toobs will be available for at least the next six months.
However, in a comment on their original post, they told a customer that their availability will rely on demand.
“As long as Australians continue to show their love, we will be able to keep them on the shelves,” they said.
The beloved crisp treats were originally discontinued due to a lack of consumer demand, according to an interview as featured in the Good Food blog.
Yahoo News Australia has contacted Smiths for comment.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.