Shoppers told to plan ahead as supermarket shelves run dry

Leah Panapa 01/12/2021

LISTEN: Supermarket shoppers are being told to plan ahead with reports some grocery stores are experiencing huge areas of empty space on the shelves because of low supply and increased demand.

The situation hasn’t been helped in Countdown stores following strikes at two of their Auckland distribution centres last week, and contamination at Chelsea Sugar has meant brown sugar can’t be found for love nor money.

There is also talk that we’re running out of toilet paper again and supplies of dried fruit are stretched as people prepare their Christmas fruit mince pies. 

Katherine Rich, chief executive of the New Zealand Food & Grocery Council, says it has been a tough few months for food retailers.

"We're so used to seeing everything on the shelf all the time but from time to time there are some empty shelves, but people are frantically trying to refill them," she told Magic Talk.

Rich says the COVID pandemic has "really thrown a few curve balls" for the food and grocery sector.

As the busy Christmas season nears, shoppers are being reminded to think about what they need in advance.

"We're certainly not going to run out everything but I am saying to people to plan ahead."

"It's important that people have a think about what they need for Christmas and supermarkets have a chance to supply them," Rich told Magic Talk.

Listen to the full interview with Katherine Rich and Mel Homer, in for Leah Panapa, above.

Magic Talk | Mornings with Leah Panapa, weekdays from 9am

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