Supermarkets shelves full of CHRISTMAS stock – but your favourite essential items could be missing

SUPERMARKETS are prioritising Christmas goods over other basic supplies as Brits rush to buy festive staples.

Supply chain problems are continuing to hit stores, meaning that Brits are racing to buy their Christmas dinner essentials ahead of time.

David Dyson - The Sun
Shops are prioritising Christmas goods over household essentials[/caption]
Empty aisles have been spotted in shops including this Tesco store in Slough[/caption]
Bottled water was in short supply in this Asda superstore in Slough[/caption]

Gaps on shelves have been sparked by shoppers panic buying essential goods as a lack of lorry drivers means that not enough deliveries are being made to keep supermarket shelves stocked.

It comes as chancellor Rishi Sunak warned recently that shortages will hit families this Christmas.

Amid the crisis, shoppers have already raided supermarket shelves to bag their festive grub, with sales of Christmas puddings up 45% and frozen turkeys up by 409%.

It means shops are prioritising Christmas staples over other household favourites, The Sun understands.

To ensure that enough deliveries of seasonal food are hitting the shelves, supermarkets are reducing the variety of some products in some cases.

Shoppers could see less choice of items like pasta and bottled water on sale as Christmas favourites are delivered to stores first.

Single pints of milk were also items that supermarkets stopped selling as much of when Brits were panic buying last year when the Covid crisis hit.

But exactly what essential items shops choose to leave in warehouses over seasonal staples will vary from store to store.

It means that while a supermarket may choose to reduce the range of one product in one store, for example, it may be in normal supply in another branch.

Because of the lack of choice on offer, you may not be be able to find the exact brand of essentials you’re looking for.

It comes as the UK faces a mega shortfall of 100,000 HGV drivers, meaning there aren’t enough deliveries being made to stores.

Some retailers, including Tesco, Asda and Marks & Spencer, are offering £1,000 bonuses to new HGV drivers to ward off the threat of empty shelves.

While British Retail Consortium director of food and sustainability Andrew Opie said that the lorry driver crisis has already created “some gaps on shelves”, it could become more of an issue in the run up to Christmas.

“While the situation is likely to become more challenging in the run up to Christmas, retailers will be prioritising the food and products necessary for everyone to enjoy the festive season.”

It’s also sparked fears that Brits could miss out on their Christmas Day roasts, with farmers warning you should order your turkey now or risk missing out.

The British Meat Processors Association told The Sun that labour shortages in the meat industry are also reaching a “critical level”, leading to “gaps on shelves and shortages of some products”.

A BMPA spokesperson said: “Without short term emergency help from Government to allow us to plug the gaps in skills and staff by allowing us to bring in experienced workers from overseas, those food supply chain problems will get worse and will last well beyond Christmas into next year.”

Shoppers could also see food prices spike by the end of the year.

Morrisons has warned the cost of goods will go up and Heinz’s boss said the company is increasing the cost of products including ketchup and baked beans.

Soaring food costs will also help to drive up the cost of inflation, experts have warned.

It could mean  Brits could have to stump up an extra £1,800 by the end of the year just to get by.

Festive food is hitting shelves, and Brits are racing to buy them
Freezers were empty in Asda’s Slough store with hardly any frozen goods in stock[/caption]


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