Data: Grocery supply chains stretched by a second wave of stockpiling

Coronavirus panic buying UK 2

As the UK enters its sixth week of lockdown, evidence has emerged of a second phase of consumers stocking up on essential items that may have run low over the last month.

Data from Edge by Ascential shows that average out-of-stock levels across the major UK online grocers increased again over the week to April 21, ending the week at 16.3% compared to 14.1% two weeks earlier.

Online out of stocks had been stabilising in the weeks since the UK entered the ‘delay phase’, as grocers and their suppliers worked overtime to increase supply and employ additional resources to feed the nation.

But unavailability levels seen over the past week indicate that consumers may now be running low on essentials bought a month ago, leading to a second wave of high demand. Average out-of-stock levels for the UK grocers before the coronavirus pandemic stood at 1.3%.

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