29 September 2020
Fears over demand strangulation
New COVID-19 restrictions in the UK that came into force last week have sparked anxiety that there could be a strangulation of demand within some sectors of the industry.
With confidence muted, procurement for potatoes is on a weekly basis as people sit tight to see how these new measures affect demand.
At the moment demand and prices have been relatively flat.
With precipitation expected across the British Isles, growers continue lifting. Many are lifting into store due to the depressed market.
The Government's 10pm curfew for bars, pubs and restaurants and advice for working from home could mean more signal less demand from the eat-out sector, but national media have speculated that this will be countered by a surge in supermarket demand.
Some supermarkets have reintroduced store safety measures and addressed concerns of another surge in demand for potatoes and other essential groceries.Supermarkets were among the main beneficiaries when lockdown restrictions were first introduced in March, with shoppers emptying shelves of store-cupboard essentials.
Some supermarket restrictions have been relaxed in recent months, but it's thought the Government’s decision to tighten lockdown restrictions could impact people’s shopping habits again.Boris Johnson has now announced that face masks will be compulsory for shop workers, while fines for not wearing masks will increase to £200.
Social media posts have revealed empty shelves in supermarkets and there has been speculation that panic buying would restart, but supermarket bosses have stated that they have not yet experienced shortages. At the same time, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has urged customers to be considerate of others.
Shares in online retailer Ocado have jumped over the past week due increasing demand, as industry analysts have reported high booking figures for online shopping slots.