Sainsbury’s food shortage: Retailer ‘not getting every product through’ amid huge demand

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Supermarket customers have noticed bare shelves in food stores after supplies of some items were hit by global supply chain challenges. Sainsbury’s has warned shoppers of gaps on shelves as supplies of some products run low.

Some supplies including salads, beers and softs drinks are said to be running low because of shortages of lorry drivers.

More staff are also thought to be self-isolating because of COVID-19.

Simon Roberts, Sainsbury’s Chief Executive said the demand for barbecue foods, soft drinks and certain alcoholic beverages had been stronger than expected.

It comes after families continue to eat more at home and groups have gathered to watch the Euro 2020 football tournament.

He said: “As customers are spending more time together for the big events we have seen demand respond as a result.”

Figures show that beer sales have surged 60 percent above normal levels since the Euro’s began.

Sainsbury’s saw beer flying off the shelves last week with 17 packs being sold each second as the country gathered to watch England against Ukraine.

With the UK experiencing mild weather, salad bags are also thought to be in short supply.

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However, driver shortages have meant that the supermarket was “not getting every product through”.

Appearing on Prime Minister’s Questions, Glasgow East MP David Linden urged Boris Johnson to act as the sector reaches “crisis point”.

It comes as the number of HGV drivers had been reduced by 100,000 since the start of the pandemic.

This was down to a number of different factors including Brexit, the pandemic, the dwindling of the furlough scheme and the start of the summer holidays.

Robert added that Sainsbury’s was managing to bring in a range of different items so that “in areas that customers want to buy we have got availability”.

With many Britons noticing empty shelves in supermarkets, Twitter has been inundated with comments.

One person wrote: “The shelves have been low and are being restocked very slowly.”

Another said: “I visited Morrisons today first thing and some shelves were fairly empty.”

“It’s the norm everywhere,” a third added.

Twitter users also claimed they have seen no plastic water bottles, with empty shelves in several supermarkets.

Tesco confirmed it had been experiencing shortages due to a combination of factors, including production issues at the supermarket’s own brand supplier’s factory.

A spokesperson for Nestlé Waters added that the company had “experienced demand for our products increase beyond our expectations at this point in the season”.

The company added: “We believe this is driven by the easing of national lockdown restrictions, and we have also been enjoying a warm British summer.

“This increase in demand has also had a knock-on effect on the haulage industry and we are experiencing shortages in the network servicing our supply, particularly for our international brands such as S. Pellegrino.”

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