Worried Brits stock up on Christmas puddings amid festive shortage fears

12 October 2021, 15:28

Brits have been stocking up on their Christmas puddings.
Brits have been stocking up on their Christmas puddings. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Almost half a million Brits bought Christmas puddings in September amid fears of increasing supply chain issues in the run-up to the festive season.

Figures from market researcher Kantar showed that fears of shortages over Christmas prompted some Britons to stock up early, with 449,000 consumers buying their Christmas pudding in September - a 76% rise year on year.

Sales of frozen stuffing, gift-wrapping products and festive cards were also up as customers tried to avoid supply chain issues.

Toy sales rose 5% on last year, while gift wrapping products grew by 10%, Kantar said.

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However, Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, stressed there was no general panic buying in stores despite the supply chain problems.

"These are still relatively small numbers and anxiety around supply issues has not translated to panic-buying - festive or otherwise," he said.

It comes as a lack of lorry drivers in the UK continue to cause supply chain issues, with fears of shortages in the run up to December 25.

In recent weeks there have been scenes of panic-buying at the pumps as petrol stations ran dry amid delivery delays caused by the shortage of drivers.

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The army was drafted in by the government last week in order to ease the crisis, which is still causing serious issues in parts of London and the South-East.

Kantar's latest monthly figures showed that shoppers have cut back on trips to the supermarket to save petrol amid Britain's fuel crisis.

The latest data from Kantar revealed that the average household made 15.5 grocery store visits in the past four weeks - the lowest monthly figure since February.

The report showed that visits to forecourts in the South of England jumped by 66% on Friday September 24, at the height of the fuel crisis, as motorists queued to fill up their tanks ahead of the weekend.

Overall grocery sales fell 1.2% to £28.8 billion year on year in the 12 weeks to October 3, although they remained 8.1% higher than before Covid-19, according to the figures.