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Business of Food

Large percentage of Britons unable to access essential foods due to shortages, data reveals

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2 min read
AUTHOR: Fiona Holland
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Substantial numbers of residents across the UK are struggling to find essential food items this month, according to recent data from the Office for National Statistics.

The data reveals London had the largest number of people unable to access essential food items in the whole country at 23%, with the same number also struggling to access non-essential food items. A quarter could not find the food items they needed, nor could they find a replacement.

The same shortages in the capital are also visible in Wales, where 22% of people were unable to purchase their essential food items in October.

The South West saw the worst shortages in non-essential food items, where 30% of people said they couldn’t find them during their food shop.

Nearly 40% of English residents think it is very unlikely they bought more food than usual this month, with 15% finding essential food items unavailable,

Thirty-seven percent of people in Scotland and 35% in Wales also thought they weren’t buying more than usual in their food shops.

The variety of goods in stock across the UK has also depleted. Nearly half of people in England and Scotland and over a quarter in Wales found there to be less choice available.

Finding a variety of food products has also been particularly difficult in London which saw the highest percentage of people (47%) say they saw a reduction in the range of products on sale.

Out of all the essential food-items, different cuts of meat as well as sweets, chocolate, and milk are proving to be some of the hardest to find, according to a recent report by the BBC.

Nestlé, who produce a large range of confectionary for the U.K., recently announced they’re experiencing problems with their supply chain. Dairy giant Arla Foods has also had to decrease its number of deliveries, reducing the amount of stock entering the country.

Supply chain issues combined with Brexit, which has encouraged many seasonal EU workers to leave the UK, and lack of HGV drivers are said to be some of the leading causes of the shortages in the report.


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