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UK food shortages: Full list of everything missing and which areas are worst affected


Food shortages have become the norm across Britain as worker shortages and other issues impacting supply chains to supermarkets. The UK’s shortage of lorry drivers had led to supermarkets receiving fewer deliveries of products, so when they sell out of a particular item, it now takes longer for the gap on the shelf to be refilled.

Where are the food shortages felt the most?

Research conducted by delivery management experts Urbantz, used data from the Office for National Statistics to analyse the percentage of people who were unable to access essential food in a period up to October 3.

The report found more than one in five people in the North East, East Midlands, and Yorkshire and the Humber were unable to buy essential food items over the period investigated.

In the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber, 21 percent of residents were also unable to buy non-essential food items, and in the East Midlands this figure was 22 percent.


READ MORE: UK shortages: SEVEN key items facing supply issues this Christmas

The study also found that 12 percent of people in London bought less food than usual as a result of the shortages.

The regions with the second-worst food shortages were London and the East of England, with 19 percent reporting they could not buy essential food when at the supermarket.

A spokesperson for Urbantz, which conducted the study, said: “With the country facing significant delivery of food and other essentials, it’s important to look at the experiences of families in the UK, and what they have dealt with in the past two weeks when trying to shop for food, medicine and fuel.

“The impact of the driver shortage is felt across the entire supply chain, all the way through to the last mile – where consumers are faced with fewer choices at checkout and longer delays on their deliveries due to retailers’ struggles to keep their warehouses stocked.”

Dairy giant Arla, which supplies milk to all major UK supermarkets, has said it has been forced to cut back on deliveries due to the shortage of drivers.

There have also been shortages of bread and soft drinks reported in supermarkets.

Chief executive of supermarket Iceland Richard Walker told BBC Radio 4: Richard Walker told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We start to stock-build from September onwards for what is a hugely important time of year.

“We’ve got a lot of goods to transport between now and Christmas and a strong supply chain is vital for everyone.”

About current delivery issues, he added: “We at Iceland have already seen deliveries to our stores cancelled for the first time since the pandemic began, and this is solely due to the HGV driver shortage.

“This is not a new issue, we and everyone else in the retail, manufacturing and transport industries have been calling on the government to step in and find a solution to the problem for many weeks, such as including lorry drivers in the essential and skilled workers list.”

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