Panic buying but no food shortages in the UK

No primary category set

Any one who has been shopping this weekend will probably have been greeted by empty shelves as panic buying gripped the country with the most popular product to be stock piled being toilet roll. Shelves were emptied as soon as stocks were replenished and seeing the empty shelves just made more sane shoppers worried and grabbing spare supplies even if they didn’t yet need them.

There is a natural panic buying spree but the reality is that we shouldn’t be worried as products varying from pasta and rice to baked beans disappeared from Supermarkets. Retailers have been quick to reassure the public as have manufacturers such as Andrex:

The major supermarkets released a joint letter in partnership with the British Retail Consortium calling for shoppers to act fairly and only take what they need. Clearing the shelves just leaves the more vulnerable in society without as they will often live from week to week and whilst you may be rubbing your hands (and bum) with glee having stock piled six month’s worth of toilet roll, others who genuinely only buy a couple of rolls a week are left with none.

“Retailers are working incredibly hard to keep shops well stocked and deliveries running as smoothly as possible. In the face of unprecedented demand as a result of coronavirus, food retailers have come together to ask their customers to support each other to make sure everyone can get access to the products they need”
– Helen Dickinson, OBE, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium

“There’s plenty of product in the supply chain, there’s plenty of food at Tesco and other supermarkets, and I don’t think anybody needs to panic buy. We, and I’m sure our competitors, are re-filling our supply chains are rapidly as ever we can.”
– John Allan, Chairman, Tesco

Even Supermarket delivery slots are filling up and shoppers will discover that they may have to wait a week or more for their next online order to be delivered and, at least for those fulfilled from local stores, may discover some products are exchanged for the nearest equivalent or are missing when their delivery arrives. There are also common sense buying limits being put in place by many stores.

As with couriers and the Royal Mail, Supermarket delivery drivers are now unlikely to enter your home and will deliver your shopping to your doorstep for you to take inside. They are also ceasing to collect delivery signatures and instead will sign acceptance of your order on your behalf.

It is likely that many will turn to online grocery shopping, perhaps for the first time or to arrange deliveries for elderly relatives over the next weeks and months. Amazon Pantry is likely to see a boost as are the Supermarkets themselves. If you are going to order online, allow more time than normal and don’t leave your order until the day before you need delivery.

Supermarket letter on panic buying

All the major supermarkets, Sainsbury’s, Co-Op, Lidl, Tesco, Aldi, Waitrose, M&S, Asda, Iceland, Morrisons, Occado and Costcutter have come together to write to their customers around the UK with the letter being published in adverts in national newspapers this Sunday and Monday.

Panic buying but no food shortages in the UK supermarket-advert-on-coronavirus

14 Responses

  1. Yes full on panic about the corona virus but standing in queues next to hundreds to be able to wipe you backside for the next 10 years. Standing side by side in packed pubs on saturday night.

    What a farce.

    I still have not got a single bottle of hand gel in our house as no where has any.
    Cannot buy it on ebay at inflated prices because ebay has suddenly taken a moral stand. Yet our normal high street shop was selling items that last week were £3.99 for £6.75 and claiming the wholesale prices had rocketed. good old ebay.
    How do they know what a selling is buying the product for.

  2. The problem is they can’t get it on the shelves fast enough. Our lot has 200 artics for all the UK working flat out. There is plenty food but people do not trust this Government, or the supermarkets or simply a system that has let them down for so long. We have created a very “am alright Jack self centred society”.
    Anyway everything is going to change now.

  3. I am fully aware soap and water works at home and use it but i meant our household has no gel for when out.

    How do you take money then wash your hands for 2 verses of happy birthday before serving the next person.

    Gel does not need washing off. Not sure people are grasping the difference. Fuel up and use hand gel.

    oh i dont have any so leave car and walk to the toilets to use soap and water queue for your petrol pump will be happy.

    Thats the difference between hand gel and soap.
    Just if you are unsure

  4. What a joke eBay are proving to be again.

    They say they will not allow price gouging on the platform yet we see toilet rolls at £49.
    The local shops are increasing their prices massively as well we paid £8.99 today for a pack that last week were £3.99.

    It seems eBay pick and choose whats right and whats wrong.
    Now royal mail are talking about their strike ballot well hopefully when all this is over and the government help dries up companies will move their business elswhere. There are plenty of delivery firms out there

  5. A few months back, I saw these “all singing, all dancing” toilets, that would wash your rear with water jets and then dry you off with hot air. Although very expensive, I kind of regret not getting one now. With no TP in the shops and online price gouging going on, it would have paid for itself in a matter of months.

  6. cost co toilet paper
    425 sheets per roll
    12.750 sheets per case
    20 sheets per shit=
    637 shits per case
    45.5 shits per day
    a family of 4 quarantined for 14 days would need to shit 182 times a day
    to use 1 case each

  7. I was out doing drops today and everyone had a multiple of swaps or unavailable. I started at 7 and the shelves looked ok by time I finished a 16.00 the place was decimated. I struggled to get a few bits for my lunches over next few days .
    Staff are starting to go off also, we are 3 drives down and God knows how many pickers and front of store staff. Some of the selfishness you see is unreal, but they are putting a stop to it now and are going to prioritize over 70 for online next week and people who genuinely need the service (those in isolation).
    Plus if anyone has lost a job and is willing to train to drive, pick, or do nightshifts they are looking, it may just be temp but it is better than Doris Dole.

  8. Supermarkets have made the shortage as they have the ability to allocate stock into their stores. But yet if you walk in to the supermarket they are full of flowers and chocs for mothers day ( no social contact, protect the elderly). Surely this space on those lorries would be for essential food. Supermarkets just making money

  9. So many are jumping on the bandwagon.

    One huge courier company said yesterday to one of our suppliers that they could not get the products out of France as the shipes wer being used for priority goods such as hand Sanitiser and products like that which are in high demand.

    Well that’s strange why would France allow the items they are short of to leave their country and come to ours.


Amazon 2023 Stats and Performance

Amazon 2023 Stats and Performance

Amazon funded Quantity Discounts by Amazon

Amazon funded Quantity Discounts by Amazon

Pile ou Face success in lost package lucky dips

Pile ou Face success in lost package lucky dips

Sophie Slade Hunswick, Content Director from Amazon consulting agency Sitruna

Mastering the Amazon: Navigating the Currents of E-comm Logistics

Amazon Business in Europe

New Amazon Business ‘Prefer Small and Medium Enterprises’ feature

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


Take a look through a selection of the latest articles on ChannelX

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars