Coronavirus: a third of shoppers already food stockpiling

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Shoppers are concerned about the impact of Coronavirus (Image: Istock)
Shoppers are concerned about the impact of Coronavirus (Image: Istock)

Related tags: Supply chain, coronavirus

A third (34%) of shoppers are already stockpiling food in case of a major outbreak of the Coronavirus COVID-19, according to an online survey of 1,000 consumers.

The research, conducted HIM & MCA Insight in March 2020, also found that 67% of shoppers were concerned about shops running out of groceries.

The news comes as reports have shown that supermarkets have been overwhelmed with shoppers buying staples such as pasta and toilet rolls.

The fifth death in the UK due to coronavirus was revealed as the numbers of those affected hit over 300.

Tinned foods (17%), frozen foods (14%), toiletries (14%) and dried goods (14%) were the most popular categories that shoppers have already stocked up on.


However, if there is a major coronavirus outbreak, 88% of shoppers said they would stockpile food.

The most popular categories that shoppers planned to top up on if there was a major coronavirus outbreak were tinned foods (59%), frozen foods (52%), dried goods (50%), household goods (47%) and wipes/hand gels (35%).

When asked how much they planned to spend on stockpiling, 30% said over £100 and 5% said over £500.

Overall, 84% of shoppers were concerned in some way about a major coronavirus outbreak in the UK, with 25% very concerned.

'Extreme behaviours'

“The perceived growing threat of coronavirus is becoming more of a concern for UK grocery shoppers and this is being reflected in their beliefs and actions. Strong media coverage, with daily updates on the number of confirmed cases, will likely result in shoppers engaging in extreme behaviours,”​ said Blonnie Walsh, head of insight at HIM and MCA Insight.

“There is no doubt that retailers, suppliers and wholesalers are monitoring the situation closely and doing as much as they can. Advice and communication are critical in these situations to help manage shopper needs and mitigate panic.”

Meanwhile, all the latest updates surrounding the coronavirus can be found here.

Related topics: Supply Chain

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