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Nervous UK consumers stockpiling for Brexit

More than a quarter of UK consumers are planning to stockpile products in anticipation of problems after Brexit, according to new figures from GlobalData.

The company’s monthly retail tracker shows that consumers are taking the possibility of a no-deal Brext – and consequent supply chain issues – seriously.

“Two thirds of all shoppers believe that the price of their usual food and grocery shop will rise notably, and just over 10 per cent of people claim they are already stockpiling products,” says GlobalData retail analyst Thomas Brereton.

Household products are the most commonly stockpiled items, with cereals and tea and coffee also popular. Nearly a quarter of ‘prepping’ customers are stockpiling meat, with nearly 23 per cent buying up pet foods in anticipation of shortages or price rises.

“Shoppers are either stockpiling or planning to stockpile a wider range of food categories than the predictable cupboard staples such as household products and cereals, with tinned fruit and vegetables proving a popular category, as well as tinned meat products. It is the fear of price increases rather than shortages that is the biggest driver – with 60% of stockpilers doing so because of a belief of higher prices post-Brexit, and 52% doing so in anticipation of product shortages,” says Brereton.

There are also fears concerning over the counter medicines, with 41 per cent of people buying extra.

“There has simply not been enough information provided by the government on how food prices, availability and regulations will be affected in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The just-in-time supply chain that UK supermarkets operate on means that there is not the specialist infrastructure in place to deal with stockpiling – particularly of fresh goods – and it is important that the Government provides clarity on the situation as quickly as possible to reassure shoppers,” adds Brereton.

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