Over A Third Of UK Shoppers Already Stockpiling Food, Study Finds
Just over a third (34%) of UK shoppers are already stockpiling food in case of an escalation in the coronavirus outbreak, a new study has found.
Two thirds (67%) of the respondents to the survey said that they were 'concerned in some way' about stores running out of groceries in the event of a major coronavirus outbreak, while 88% said they plan to stockpile food if the situation gets significantly worse.
Again, tinned food (59%) would be the most-shopped category in the event of a major escalation, followed by frozen foods (52%), dried goods (50%), household goods (47%) and wipes/hand gels (35%).
When asked how much they would be prepared to spend on stockpiling, 30% said they would spend more than £100 (€114), while 5% said they would likely spend more than £500 (€573).
Overall, 84% of shoppers are concerned in some way about a major coronavirus outbreak in the UK, with 25% 'very concerned', the study found.
“The perceived growing threat of coronavirus is becoming more of a concern for UK grocery shoppers and this is being reflected in their beliefs and actions," commented Blonnie Walsh, head of insight at HIM and MCA Insight
"Strong media coverage with daily updates on the number of confirmed cases will likely result in shoppers engaging in extreme behaviours.”
Walsh added that there is "no doubt" that retailers, suppliers and wholesalers are monitoring the situation closely.
"Advice and communication is critical in these situations to help manage shopper needs and mitigate panic," she said.
Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to reassure consumers that stockpiling would not be necessary, adding that manufacturers and retailers are working at "full capacity" to ensure that product supplies remain solid.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.