Short supply or high demand?

On a recent shopping visit to Sainsburys I was disappointed with the number of empty shelves and lack of produce.

I was annoyed that quite a bit of gluten free produce wasn’t available.

It must be happening a lot as they had some specially printed shelf fillers.

Sainsburys put down the problem to “high demand”, so it’s the fault of the customer, panic buying and all that.

However the problem isn’t unique to Sainsburys and on Twitter there are photos of empty shelves in Tesco. I have also had issues with buying some gluten free produce at Asda.

Not everyone though thinks it is down to high demand, as seen on this sign in Waitrose that I saw yesterday. No shelf fillers, but a sign indicating that the lack of choice was down to “country-side supply issues”.

We know there are logistics issues down to a lack of HGV drivers, and combine that with Covid-19, Brexit supply issues we are approaching a perfect storm.

When we had the panic buying in March 2020, the retail industry assured us that supply wasn’t a problem and that if we only bought what we needed then they could supply everyone. The challenge we face now is that if there is an increase in panic buying now, the situation will only exacerbate as we have supply and logistics issues. The lack of pasta and toilet paper we experienced back then could become a lack of a much wider range of products.

It’s all quite worrying.