Businesses and consumers alike have been hit by the latest supermarket supply chain shortages.
Are you concerned about the impact on your organisation? If so, here’s what you need to know:
- The real reasons why there’s a fruit and vegetable shortage.
- The supermarkets most affected by supermarket supply chain shortages, and why.
- How long supermarket supply chain issues are likely to last.
- How businesses like yours can manage supply chain shortages moving forwards.
Why is there a fruit and vegetable shortage?
Consumers across the country have had their food shops limited. But why?
Well, as a result of ongoing supply chain issues, the UK’s leading supermarkets have started restricting sales of certain fruits and vegetables.
The products that have been hit the hardest are tomatoes and peppers. As a result, certain supermarkets are having to cap consumers at two or three of each product per shop. Similarly, products including lettuce, cucumber, broccoli, and cauliflowers have been noticeably thin on the ground across retailers.
The reason? Bad weather in source countries impacting crops and disrupting supply chains.
Through the winter, the UK imports up to 95% of these fresh products, mostly from Spain and Morocco. With Spanish crops affected by cold weather and Morocco being hit by floods, there simply isn’t enough supply to deal with demand.
Meanwhile, domestic growers are having to cut back on energy costs and reduce their out-of-season operations. That means that less greenhouse-grown produce is making its way from British producers to supermarket shelves.
What supermarkets are affected by supermarket supply chain shortages?
Asda was the first major UK supermarket to announce a temporary rationing policy for certain fruits and vegetables.
Shortly after, Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket chain, Aldi, the cheapest, and Morrisons all followed suit.
In all but Morrisons, sales of affected products have been limited to three per shop. Meanwhile, Morrisons have capped customers to just two cucumbers, lettuces, peppers, and packs of tomatoes per shop.
Interestingly, a poll of our own connections has revealed that Tesco shoppers struggled more than any others to find the fruit and veg they needed. 24% of shoppers also struggled in Sainsbury’s, which is the only Big Four supermarket not to have implemented a cap.
Other popular UK grocery retailers, including discount grocer Lidl, Waitrose, and M&S, have yet to do so as well. But, with demand outstripping supply, they may well need to do so before the supply chain issues are resolved.
How long are supermarket supply chain issues like to last?
With fruit and vegetables being some of the cheapest, healthiest options available to struggling consumers, the issue is causing widespread frustration. But it’s not just shoppers who are dealing with the impact.
Between the cost-of-living crisis and unmeetable demand, supermarkets and supply chain and logistics professionals are feeling the strain too.
The good news is that the British growing season will start up again in a few weeks’ time. According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), this means that shortages are unlikely to drag on for too much longer.
Of course, though, this will depend on how well supermarkets and supply chains recover in the coming weeks and months.
How to manage supply chain shortages
It’s important for suppliers and retailers alike to be as prepared as possible for supply chain disruptions. In other words, it’s all about being proactive.
The cost-of-living crisis is affecting businesses across the board (as well as their consumers) and issues like Brexit, the ongoing war in Ukraine, and Covid backlogs continue to pose additional problems to British supply chains. So, it’s essential that you protect your organisation as best you can from any oncoming hard knocks.
The best way to do that? Taking on adaptable, experienced talent with specialist supply chain expertise.
While you can’t prevent challenges, you can ensure your business is equipped to handle them effectively and mitigate any disruptions. Without the right professionals in the right places, it’s much harder to do so.
Are you on the lookout for supply chain talent with specialist grocery experience?
We’ll work in partnership with you to identify and attract problem-solving professionals that will strengthen your organisation. We’re experts in your industry, so we’re always on the cutting edge of what’s going on.
Get in touch today for specialist Supply Chain talent:
Call us: 0333 772 7200