Millions of shoppers have been unable to buy essential foods in the past two weeks, it was revealed yesterday, with soldiers set to be drafted in to drive HGVs over Christmas as Britain’s supply chain crisis continues.
Shocking new figures from the Office of National Statistics said around one in six Britons have been unable to buy essential food items in the last fortnight in the latest sign of UK panic-buying.
A survey of 1,000 consumers by The Grocer revealed that two thirds of shoppers were either worried or ‘very worried’ by potential shortages of food and drink ahead of the festive season.
Waitrose saw 22,000 festive slots booked by lunchtime on the first day of releasing their dates last week, while 112,000 had been booked by the end of the week. Ocado, which is releasing slots more slowly, has sent out a ‘sorry if you haven’t been able to a Christmas Slot in time’ reply on its FAQ page.
Britain has been plagued by a series of crises in recent weeks, with soaring gas prices and HGV shortages causing chaos.
Now, senior Government figures have reportedly said that they are considering keeping soldiers on to drive HGV lorries across Christmas in a bid to prevent food shortages.
Elsewhere, Boris Johnson appointed former Tesco boss Sir Dave Lewis as his new supply chain crisis tsar with a remit to clear ‘blockages’ and ‘pre-empt potential future ones’ after dismissing concerns over labour shortages, Britain’s creaking supply chain and fears over rising inflation.