Ukraine conflict increases availability concerns

Date : 16 May 2022
The war in Ukraine is having wide economic and commercial implications for food supply chains.

The current events are resulting in a reduction in the amount of grains and oil available for export from the region. Some supermarkets are limiting how much cooking oil customers are able to buy as supplies have been affected by the conflict.

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In the latest shopper research conducted for IGD (11-12 May 2022), the impact of the war in Ukraine is leading to increased availability concerns for UK shoppers.

More than two thirds of adults (68%) interviewed experienced shortages of some food and groceries in-store or online recently. This has increased significantly since last month (+11%). This is the same highest level achieved in January 2022 and December 2021 during COVID-19 restrictions.

Availability concerns rising for oils

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Availability concerns are increasing the most for oils (+9% compared to last month). Concerns are also rising the most for dairy (+5%), bakery, fresh meat and frozen food (+4% each). Availability concerns are still highest for fresh produce (24%).

Stockpiling remains stable

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Over a third of people (36%) have recently felt the need to stock up or purchase more than they normally do compared to 37% a month ago. This compares to a high of 64% in April 2020. The top categories that are being stocked up are tins and packaged goods (11%), cereals (9%), household paper (9%) and household products (7%). 6% are stocking up on oils (vs 4% last month).

There has also been little change in the numbers saying they will or might stock up (36% vs 37% a month ago).

Regional differences

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Availability concerns are highest in Northern Ireland (81%), London (75%) and the South West (73%).

Half of those living in London (50%) have stocked up recently compared to just 33% in Northern Ireland and 23% in the North East.

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