Is there a gelatin shortage?

I have been on the lookout for unflavored gelatin for the past 3 - 4 months. Most of the local stores usually only carry Knox-brand, but I found some generic, store-brand gelatin about 4 months ago. I only bought a small package to try it out before committing to getting more. Now I wish I’d bought a larger supply because I haven’t been able to find any more since then. (Haven’t checked Whole Foods.) It seems to be out of stock on too. But all I’ve been able to find about a shortage from a quick web search is an article from India saying that they are experiencing a COVID-19-related gelatin shortage there. Nothing about gelatin here in the US.

Maybe this will be an excuse to experiment with agar as a replacement. I use the gelatin for desserts.

Yes!! The same is happening here in Rochester, NY. Can’t find it anywhere.

Finally spotted gelatin back in the store this past week.

In the meantime, I had started experimenting with agar. What I am loving about agar is that it has very little aroma or flavor, unlike gelatin, which, depending on the batch, sometimes can have a strong and off-putting smell and taste. What is more of a challenge, though, is that the agar needs to be heated for several minutes to activate and then rapidly starts gelling when it reaches room temperature. It seems to gel much faster than gelatin, which doesn’t really gel until refrigerated for several hours. For ingredients that could lose some of their fragrance if heated to too high a temp for too long, this makes things a little trickier than when working with gelatin, which is much more forgiving in that regard since you can easily work with it at room temperature. Agar is also a bit more expensive.