Shoppers will have less choice in supermarkets as supply shortages leave shelves bare, experts have warned.
Supermarkets are bracing for months of scarcity – from crisps and meat to toilet paper and flour.
There is a shortage of heavy truck drivers in the UK and an increase in demand for shipping containers around the world as the global economy picks up after the pandemic.
It will likely be felt harder on inexpensive but bulky products such as toilet paper, prepackaged bread, and refrigerated products.
A senior food industry source said: “Whether it’s attracting people to work in factories, fields, food processing plants or to drive trucks, it feels like the entire food industry and supermarkets shut down.
“We already anticipate that there will be two or three types of roast beef instead of six or seven, or a much smaller range of tomatoes.
“The goal will be to get the products on the shelves, but not as a full range of sizes and packaging options – so don’t expect to match the color of your toilet paper to that of the bathroom wallpaper. from the ground floor. “
The “systemic” problem has already seen a shortage of CO2, affecting the production of products like crisps and soft drinks.
The lack of truck drivers has led gas stations to ration gasoline supplies and even force some stations to close.
The government has urged people not to panic to buy, with Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps saying people should “go on as usual”.
Despite assurances, queues have been spotted at gas stations across the country, creating long traffic jams in some places.
The EG Group, which operates around 400 refueling points, has imposed a limit of £ 30 per refuel to ensure customers “have a fair chance to refuel”.
All petrol stations under the BP, Esso, Shell and Texaco brands now have a fuel limit of £ 30.
But there will be other garages with the same brand that will not impose a limit because they are managed by different companies.