Availability concerns stabilise despite increased stockpiling

Date : 13 April 2022

Availability issues

Operational labour and HGV driver shortages continue to disrupt food supply chains.

Food and consumer goods businesses have been hit hard by recruitment and retention challenges. This is resulting in lower order fulfilment levels than normal, meaning there is an impact on availability of some food and groceries.

The government has committed to a package of support including the issuing of temporary visas for HGV drivers. Sign up to our upcoming webinar on April 27th for further insight.

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In the latest shopper research conducted for IGD (11-12 April 2022), more than half of adults (57%) interviewed experienced shortages of some food and groceries in-store or online recently. This is at a similar level to 56% in early March. This is still one of the lowest points since September’21.

Stockpiling increases

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Over a third of people (37%) have recently felt the need to stock up or purchase more than they normally do compared to 33% a month ago. This compares to a high of 64% in April 2020.

There has also been an increase in the numbers saying they will or might stock up (41% vs 35% a month ago).

Regional differences

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Availability concerns are highest in the North-East (78%), Northern Ireland (67%) and East England(59%).

Nearly half of those living in London (48%), and over four in ten of those living in the North-East (42%), Yorkshire and the Humber (41%) and the South-east (41%) have stocked up recently compared to just 33% in the North-West.

Category differences

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The chart above compares the categories being stocked up and the categories that shoppers claim to be in shorter supply.

  • The top categories that are being stocked up are tins and packaged goods (16%), household paper (14%), hand sanitizer (11%), medicines (10%) and household products (10%).
  • Claimed shortages are highest for fresh produce (21%, up 5% on early March) and savoury snacks (15% vs 17%). Other categories where claimed shortages are highest include dairy (13% vs 11%), household paper (12% vs 9%) and bakery products (12% vs 12%)

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