‘Tons of gaps’: Supermarkets hit by bottled water shortage amid surging production issues

Sainsbury’s: Expert discusses food shortage concerns

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After it was reported that food shortages were “inevitable” in Britain this summer, there is now a lack of bottled water across the country. Images of empty supermarket shelves were posted on social media this week.

Supermarkets have been hit by a shortage of bottled water due to various factors.

Increasing demand for the product, as well as ongoing production issues and labour shortages, has meant some supermarket shelves remain bare.

Customers posted images on social media this week of empty shelves and out-of-stock notifications in supermarkets.

Twitter users claimed they had seen gaps on shelves in both Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

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One person shared an image of a poster in a Tesco store that read: “Sorry, these products are out of stock.

“We are working hard to refill our shelves.”

Another person wrote: “Tons of gaps in Sainsbury’s lately too. Seems to be a growing issue.”

Tesco confirmed it had been experiencing shortages due to a combination of factors, including production issues at the supermarket’s own brand supplier’s factory.

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However, the food retailer said the issue had been resolved and availability is expected to improve over the coming days.

Another factor could be an increase in demand for bottled water, a spokesperson for the National Source Waters Association has suggested.

The spokesperson said on-the-go products had experienced a “bounce back” due to the easing of lockdown restrictions coinciding with soaring temperatures in some parts of Britain.

However, shortages were not unique to bottled water and had affected other soft drinks, grocery items, and fresh produce.

A spokesperson for Nestlé Waters added the company had “experienced demand for our products increase beyond our expectations at this point in the season” over past months.

They explained: “We believe this is driven by the easing of national lockdown restrictions, and we have also been enjoying a warm British summer.

“This increase in demand has also had a knock-on effect on the haulage industry and we are experiencing shortages in the network servicing our supply, particularly for our international brands such as S. Pellegrino.”

Meanwhile, Chief Commercial Officer at Highland Water, Simon Oldham, told The Grocer it had experienced a “huge bounce back” in on-the-go product sales in recent weeks as more lockdown restrictions eased.

Sales of bottles were “higher than expected”, according to Mr Oldham, and had increased by 11 percent compared to 2019 sales.

The news of the bottled water shortage follows reports of other national shortages, mostly food.

Industry leaders have warned that a shortage of lorry drivers in Britain has reached “crisis point”, which will lead to gaps in supermarket shelves.

There is also a lack of workers in the production and manufacturing sectors.

Several factors are to blame, including Brexit, the pandemic, and the dwindling of the furlough scheme.

Since most Britons will be staying at home this summer, demand for food products will be higher than previous years.

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