No panic in the aisles

2 cust infront of empty shelves
Zorro Stock Images/Shutterstock

PANIC buying may not be as prolific as it appears according to data from Kantar.

Retail market analysis for the week ending 17 March found that empty shelves have been caused by a majority of customers picking up a few extra items, rather than shoppers buying large amounts in one go.

According to Kantar, the average spend per supermarket trip rose to £22.13 in the week ending 17 March, up 16% on the previous month.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar said: “Most of us have seen images circulating online of people bulk buying products like toilet rolls and pasta, but our data gives us a different, if counterintuitive, diagnosis of what’s happening.

“Ultimately we need to look at the empirical evidence and it tells us that temporary shortages are being caused by people adding just a few extra items and shopping more often – behaviour that consumers wouldn’t necessarily think of as stockpiling.

“People will also be eating in more as a result of social distancing and increased working from home. Consumers spend more than £4 billion each month on food and drink out of the home, a significant proportion of which will now be channelled through the supermarkets.