Revealed: The most popular items snapped up by panic-buyers includes pasta, shower gel and tissues as sales soared by £60million in first week of March
- Items such as children’s medicine and bath and shower products were on the up
- Figures could have been higher if supermarkets hadn’t run out of some items
- Hoarders have been stock piling items such as toilet roll, pasta and canned meat
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Panic-buying shoppers across the UK are keeping supermarket chains afloat amid the coronavirus crisis after those stock piling supplies shelled out £60 million on products in the first week of march alone.
The most-purchased products included pasta and shower gel, while and additional £17 million was spent on toilet roll alone.
In contrast Britons spent twice as much as the same week a year earlier as they continue to grapple with the possibility of self-isolation.
So far in the UK 137 people have died from the illness and there have been 2,695 confirmed cases.
The graphic above shows the break down of what Britons spent their cash on in the supermarkets
The figure could have been a lot higher if supermarkets had not run out of some essentials such as hand sanitiser, medicines and dried food in the first few days of the corona crisis.
The data, from industry analysts Nielsen Scantrack for trade ‘bible’ The Grocer shows spending on the 12 most popular stockpiling products rose to £124 million in the week ending March 7th, up from £66 million for the same products 12 months earlier.
Shocking images from supermarkets up and down the country today showed people struggling to pick up the essentials they need
Sainsbury’s in Northwich, Cheshire, opened early for pensioners today so they could do their shopping before the shelves get ransacked. As shoppers continue to panic buy
Wandsworth: Empty shelves in a Tesco Local in Wandsworth, London with no fresh fruit or vegetables this morning
How supermarkets could revert to online only shopping and policing the aisles in bid to stop panic buying
- Police: The British Retail Consortium has suggested that retailers could work with the police to protect their staff and customers
- Shop online: Experts have suggested that stores limit people to shopping online, as the Co-Op, Morrisons and Waitrose hire more delivery drivers
- WWII Ration cards: Another option is to issue ration cards that get stamped or scanned when you buy items. This would prevent people being able to flout rationing restrictions by simply returning later or going to a different shop on the same day. Dr Andrew Hughes from the ANU College of Business and Economics told Daily Mail Australia: ‘We have seen rationing work in Australia recently when supermarkets asked people to show their driving licenses to buy baby formula last year.’
- Ban on new customers: Ocado has suspended new sign-ups as demand for the online supermarket outstripped its supply ten times.
Sales of children’s medicines rose 124 per cent year on year to £1.4 million in those first seven days of panic and adult analgesics were up 102.5 per cent to £3.6 million.
Toilet rolls, which have become the signature grocery product of the coronavirus epidemic in this country, saw an 88 per cent rise – or £17.6 million – to go from £20 million to £37.6 million.
Other items on every hoarder’s shopping list include bath and shower products, up 95 per cent, to £9.7 million.
This is while household cleaners were up by £6.6 million.
An extra 91 per cent was spent on facial tissues, up £3.6 million and 91 per cent more on UHT milk, up by £1.4 million.
Pasta products that had also been cleared from shelves were up 74 per cent to £3.3 million.
But this all came before the most recent measures, said The Grocer.
It added: ‘Spend across the 12 most popular stockpiling categories reached £124m in the week ending 7 March 2020, up from £66.6m the year before.
‘That was before the public was advised to avoid unnecessary travel and contact with others, which has prompted a fresh wave of panic buying.’
Supermarkets have since tried to ration sales in some cases or open up early just for the elderly so they can get what they want before the mad rush to fill trolleys full of loo rolls and dried pasta.
|Product||Increase in £s||Increase in percentage terms|
|CHILDREN’S MEDICINE||£1.4m||124.1 per cent|
|ADULT ANALGESICS||£3.6m||102 per cent|
|BATH & SHOWER||£9.7m||95.6 per cent|
|HOUSEHOLD CLEANERS||£6.6m||94.8 per cent|
|FACIAL TISSUE||£3.6m||90.9 per cent|
|UHT MILK||£1.4m||90.7 per cent|
|TOILET TISSUE||£17.5m||87.9 per cent|
|COUGH COLD & FLU||£2.7m||79.4 per cent|
|PASTA||£3.3m||74 per cent|
|CANNED MEAT||£2.6m||73.1 per cent|
|AMBIENT SOUP||£3.7m||61.1 per cent|
|CANNED PASTA||£767,799||60.0 per cent|