THE baby formula wars have broken out again, with footage of people loading dozens of tins of the precious powder into the back of a car in Adelaide sparking fresh outrage.

More than four boxes were loaded into a silver sedan in suburban Mawson Lakes, after the shelves of at least three separate retailers were stripped of product.

"He's gone to all different shops, I'm seeing a Woolworths bag, a Coles bag, a Chemist Warehouse bag," the unidentified man who filmed the video can be heard saying as he watches on in disbelief.

Nine News reports the powder was being bought in bulk to supply the lucrative Chinese market, where desperate parents will pay up to four times market price due to concerns about contamination in locally-made equivalents.

Demand has skyrocketed in recent years.

"When I was in Coles shopping, there was a couple that came in with a couple of trolleys, and they just took all the formula off of the shelves," one woman complained.

Another mother said she sometimes spends hours looking for formula.

Speaking outside an Adelaide Woolworths, she said: "Sometimes I have to go to three or four different shops to get the formula I need."

Woolworths is trying to fight the problem, introducing a four-can limit for each transaction, but it hasn't always been strictly enforced.


Shelves at Mawson Lakes were virtually stripped bare, according to the report.

"It's annoying that people would do that when they know how many cans they can actually have," said local woman Brooke Langdon.