Blog: Dean BestWhat's driving pre-Brexit stockpiling?

Dean Best | 13 March 2019

Concern over prices driving stockpiling, GlobalData says

Concern over prices driving stockpiling, GlobalData says

A significant chunk of UK consumers are either starting - or planning - to stockpile ahead of the country's departure from the EU.

Research from data and analytics firm GlobalData published today (13 March) showed more than a quarter of UK shoppers have begun stockpiling or plan to stockpile before Brexit (still, at the time of writing, scheduled for 29 March, even if a majority of UK MPs have - in the last few minutes - voted to rule out a 'no-deal' Brexit).

But it is not shortages driving any stockpiling or plans to do so.

Thomas Brereton, retail analyst for GlobalData, said: “Two-thirds of all shoppers believe that the price of their usual food and grocery shop will rise notably, and just over 10% of people claim they are already stockpiling products. It is the fear of price increases rather than shortages that is the biggest driver – with 60% of stockpilers doing so because of a belief of higher prices post-Brexit, and 52% doing so in anticipation of product shortages.

"Shoppers are either stockpiling or planning to stockpile a wider range of food categories than the predictable cupboard staples such as household products and cereals, with tinned fruit and vegetables proving a popular category, as well as tinned meat products."

The UK food industry has spent months building inventory but has publicly warned of the "significant disruption" that would face the industry from a 'no-deal' Brexit on all foodstuffs and particularly fresh-food. The close relationship between the UK and the EU and the 'just in time' supply chain between the two is often cited.

Brereton said: "The just-in-time supply chain that UK supermarkets operate on means that there is not the specialist infrastructure in place to deal with stockpiling – particularly of fresh goods – and it is important that the Government provides clarity on the situation as quickly as possible to reassure shoppers.”

The GlobalData research showed almost 40% of shoppers are either currently stockpiling - or planning to - household products, with both cereal and tea/coffee at 35%.

Meanwhile, Morrisons, the UK's fourth-largest grocer, said today UK shoppers had started stockpiling toilet rolls and painkillers in a bid to plan for a 'no-deal' Brexit. According to The Guardian, Morrisons has upped stocks of products consumers use to fill cupboards and larders, such as tins of soup and beans.

As far as Morrisons is concerned, so far, stockpiling had been limited, chief executive David Potts said.


Bar brawl - US snack firms Clif and Kind joust over ingredients

Clif Bar & Co. and US snack peer Kind have become involved in a public spat over the ingredients the companies use in their snack bars....


Amazon pulls plug on Dash buttons

The retail behemoth has said shoppers will no longer be able to buy its Dash buttons, which had allowed consumers to re-order products with one push of a finger....


Ex-PepsiCo chief Indra Nooyi gets seat on Amazon board

Former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi has secured a high-profile directorship, with retail giant Amazon appointing the CPG veteran to its board of directors....


Asda boss reacts to UK watchdog's stance on Sainsbury's deal

Sainsbury's chief Mike Coupe took to the airwaves within minutes of the CMA's provisional findings being announced and, today (21 February), his partner on the proposed merger at Asda gave his verdict...

Forgot your password?