Pumpkin Pie Shortage Expected this Holiday Season
LOS ANGELES -- A Thanksgiving staple could be missing at your dinner table this year.

Heavy rains in the Midwest have destroyed much of what was left of this year's pumpkin harvest, according to Nestle, which controls about 85% of the crop for canning.

Supermarkets say pumpkin supplies are tight, depending on the store.

Nestle announced Tuesday that it will stop shipping the holiday staple by Thanksgiving.

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Spokespersons for Vons and Albertsons said they believe they will have enough pumpkin to get through Thanksgiving. But, they're concerned supplies will fall short to get through the full holiday season.

The shortage affects the Libby's brand of 100% pumpkin in 15- and 29-ounce cans as well as Libby's Pumpkin Pie Mix filling in a 30-ounce can.

Some chains have been pushing fresh pumpkins as alternatives.

Nestle says that once this year's supply runs out, it won't have more pumpkin to can until August, when the 2010 harvest starts.

The company has apologized for the shortage and is offering alternative dessert recipes on its VeryBestBaking.com website.