Readers’ letter: Supply chain adjusting to panic buying
SIR: While we clearly have elements within our society who are hoarding food and contributing to the panic buying, there is actually a bigger factor affecting our food supply.
Around 35 per cent of the food we eat is normally purchased outside the home, possibly higher when you factor in airlines, school meals, sandwich deliveries and cinemas. The seismic drop in visits to public venues has the consequential affect that the supermarkets and online services are being hit with an increase in demand not witnessed since the Second World War. This materially not only increases demand but drives more physical (or online) visits to these facilities which stimulates the feeling of panic. Overall the total consumption probably doesn’t change that much, it’s the route to market.
The way food is prepared and delivered to hospitality is different from retail and it’s going to take quite a while for the supply chain to adjust to this change.