Labour shortages impacting availability – shopper research 1-3 October 2021

Date : 05 October 2021

Availability issues

Operational labour and HGV driver shortages are continuing to create challenges for supply chains. Food and consumer good businesses have been hit hard by recruitment and retention challenges in 2020 and 2021. This is resulting in lower order fulfilment levels than normal, meaning there is an impact on availability of some food and groceries. Shortage of HGV drivers has become severe enough to disrupt food supply and the government has committed to a package of support. Download our latest Viewpoint Special Edition: Focus on Labour Shortages for more insight.

Availability concerns stable

 


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In the latest shopper research conducted for IGD over this last weekend 1-3 October 2021, there has been little change in the number of adults interviewed who experienced shortages of some food and groceries in-store or online recently.

  • 62% of adults claim to have experienced shortages of some food and groceries in-store or online recently, little change from 61% reported 10-12 September ’21.
  • Concerns are highest in London (69%), Northern Ireland (67%), South East (64%) and Scotland (63%)
  • Concerns are highest in Scotland (69%), Northern Ireland (68%), London (66%) and the South East (65%)
  • Claimed shortages are again highest for fresh produce (20%), followed by soft drinks (19%), fresh meat or fish and dairy (17%), chilled products (14%), bakery (13%) and household paper (12%).

Stable stockpiling


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There has also been little change in the number of adults who have recently felt the need to stock up or purchase more than they normally do (27% vs 26% 10-12 September). This is still one of the lowest levels recorded and compares to 50% in January’21 and a high of 64% in April’20.

There has also been little change in the number who say they will or might stock up (34% compared to 35%). This is still much lower than the 60% recorded in March’20..

Stockpiling is highest among those aged 18-44 (33%), ABs (30%) and those living in London (40%).

Category differences


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The table above shows that the top categories that are being stocked up which include tins and packaged foods and household paper (8%). These are followed by breakfast cereals (6%), hand sanitizer, medicines, and alcohol (5%).

These are mainly different to the top categories that shoppers claim to be in short supply which includes fresh produce (20%), followed by soft drinks (19%), fresh meat or fish and dairy (17%), chilled products (14%), bakery (13%) and household paper (12%).

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