Shelves have been left empty across the UK this morning while millions of shoppers claim they have been unable to buy essential foods in the past two weeks, as Britain’s

by Neva Eades

Shelves have been left empty across the UK this morning while millions of shoppers claim they have been unable to buy essential foods in the past two weeks, as Britain’s crisis continues.  

Pictures show aisles at some supermarkets already stripped bare of meat, fruit and frozen goods as customers were seen pushing trolleys laden with toilet roll and water bottles ahead of the festive season.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show around one in six Britons have been unable to buy essential food items in the last fortnight in the latest sign of UK panic-buying. 

A survey of 1,000 consumers by The Grocer revealed that two thirds of shoppers were either worried or ‘very worried’ by potential shortages of food and drink in the run-up to . 

To ensure they get their dinner on the table for December 25, hundreds of thousands of shoppers have already booked in their delivery slots for https://www.reddit.com/user/slotgaming88 Christmas with one in three shoppers already starting to stock up on groceries.  

Waitrose saw 22,000 festive slots booked by lunchtime on the first day of releasing their dates last week, while 112,000 had been booked by the end of the week. Ocado, which is releasing slots more slowly, has sent out a ‘sorry if you haven’t been able to a Christmas Slot in time’ reply on its FAQ page. 

Now, top Government figures have reportedly said that they are considering keeping soldiers on to drive HGV lorries over Christmas in a bid to prevent food shortages, as Britain is plagued by a series of crises, with soaring gas prices and HGV shortages causing chaos.

Elsewhere, Boris Johnson appointed former Tesco boss Sir Dave Lewis as his new supply chain crisis tsar with a remit to clear ‘blockages’ and ‘pre-empt potential future ones’ after dismissing concerns over labour shortages, Britain’s creaking supply chain and fears over rising inflation.

In the latest developments on Britain’s supply chain crisis:

  • A giant DVLA office where 6,000 civil servants work is more than half empty – while there is a 56,000 backlog of HGV licenses – largely thanks to a militant union using Covid to keep staff home;
  • Former chancellor Lord Lamont called for an interest rate hike and changes to the Bank of England’s quantitative easing policy to keep soaring inflation in check and fight the cost of the living crisis;
  • Millions of families face a £100 levy on their gas bills under plans to phase out conventional boilers by 2035, with ministers wanting to ‘incentivise’ households to buy cleaner energy;
  • The cost of some fixed-rate energy deals hit almost £3,000 as Ofgem’s chief executive warned some of the ‘unprecedented’ rise in wholesale gas prices would have to be ‘passed through’ to consumers;
  • Industry leader Dr Richard Leese warned the Government that factories and industrial plants across the country are already slowing production ahead of the season due to skyrocketing energy costs;
  •  The National Grid prompted fears of blackouts with a warning over electricity supplies this winter, and more energy firms were expected to collapse, with customers being switched to suppliers charging higher tariffs; 
  • Andrew Large, director-general at the Confederation of Paper Industries, warned the Government that there are ‘serious’ risks factories could stop all activities as a result of the gas prices being too high.

A shopper is pictured pushing a trolley loaded with toilet roll and water bottles outside Costco in Manchester this morning

A shopper is pictured pushing a trolley loaded with toilet roll and water bottles outside Costco in Manchester this morning

To ensure they get their dinner on the table for December 25, hundreds of thousands of panicked shoppers have already booked in their delivery slots for Christmas, shows a survey. Pictured: an early shopper in Manchester today

To ensure they get their dinner on the table for December 25, hundreds of thousands of panicked shoppers have already booked in their delivery slots for Christmas, shows a survey.Pictured: an early shopper in Manchester today

A Sainsburys worker restocks on toilet rolls at a supermarket in Enfield, North London, today. Waitrose saw 22,000 festive slots booked by lunchtime on the first day of releasing their dates last week

A Sainsburys worker restocks on toilet rolls at a supermarket in Enfield, North London, today. Waitrose saw 22,000 festive slots booked by lunchtime on the first day of releasing their dates last week

A shopper is pictured outside a Sainsburys in Enfield, North London, today. Top Government figures have reportedly said that they are considering keeping soldiers on to drive HGV lorries across Christmas in a bid to prevent food shortages

A shopper is pictured outside a Sainsburys in Enfield, North London, today.Top Government figures have reportedly said that they are considering keeping soldiers on to drive HGV lorries across Christmas in a bid to prevent food shortages

Amid fears of food shortages in the coming months and panic buying leading to empty supermarket shelves, one in six adults have been unable to buy essential food items in the last fortnight. Pictured: a shopper in Enfield, North London, today

Amid fears of food shortages in the coming months and panic buying leading to empty supermarket shelves, one in six adults have been unable to buy essential food items in the last fortnight.Pictured: a shopper in Enfield, North London, today

Shoppers seen pushing trolleys laden with water bottles as they stock up at a Costco superstore in Bushey, Hertfordshire

Shoppers seen pushing trolleys laden with water bottles as they stock up at a Costco superstore in Bushey, Hertfordshire

A shopper seen stocking up on water bottles at a Lidl superstore in Harrow, Middlesex, today. Six in 10 people said their food shopping experience had been different to usual

A shopper seen stocking up on water bottles at a Lidl superstore in Harrow, Middlesex, today. Six in 10 people said their food shopping experience had been different to usual

Shoppers pictured stocking up at a Tesco superstore today. A fifth of Britons said items that they needed were not available but they could find a replacement, with a further fifth saying they could not find a replacement

Shoppers pictured stocking up at a Tesco superstore today. A fifth of Britons said items that they needed were not available but they could find a replacement, with a further fifth saying they could not find a replacement

New figures from the Office of National Statistics said around one in six Britons have been unable to buy essential food items in the last fortnight

New figures from the Office of National Statistics said around one in six Britons have been unable to buy essential food items in the last fortnight

A shopper is pictured pushing a trolley laden with water bottles as he stocks up at a Costco store in Bushey, Hertfordshire

A shopper is pictured pushing a trolley laden with water bottles as he stocks up at a Costco store in Bushey, Hertfordshire

A survey of 1,000 consumers by The Grocer revealed that two thirds of shoppers were either worried or 'very worried' by potential shortages of food and drink ahead of the festive season

A survey of 1,000 consumers by The Grocer revealed that two thirds of shoppers were either worried or ‘very worried’ by potential shortages of food and drink ahead of the festive season

Amid fears of food shortages in the coming months and panic buying leading to empty supermarket shelves, one in six adults have been unable to buy essential food items in the last fortnight.

Some 17 per cent of adults said they had not been able to purchase such goods because they were not available, according to the ONS.

While almost a quarter of adults said the same for non-essential food items, the ONS found after analysing responses from 3,326 adults between September 22 and October 3 as part of its Opinions and Lifestyle survey. 

It asked about people’s experiences of shortages over the past fortnight and overall, 57 per cent of people said everything they needed was still available to buy.

One in seven residents were unable to buy fuel as fears of petrol shortages and struggles with HGV driver recruitment led to drivers queuing for hours to get fuel and petrol stations being forced to close due to low supplies. 

Six in 10 people said their food shopping experience had been different to usual, while 43 per cent said there was less variety, and 14 per cent had to go to more shops to get what they needed.

A fifth of Britons said items that they needed were not available but they could find a replacement, with a further fifth saying they could not find a replacement.

Thirteen per cent of adults also reported waiting longer for prescriptions and four per cent of people had to go to more pharmacies to find what they needed. 

A mince meat shelf is left bare at a Sainsburys in London Colney, Hertfordshire, this morning amid signs of UK panic-buying

A mince meat shelf is left bare at a Sainsburys in London Colney, Hertfordshire, this morning amid signs of UK panic-buying

A sign telling customers that some products are 'temporarily unavailable' at a Sainsburys branch in Hertfordshire today

A sign telling customers that some products are ‘temporarily unavailable’ at a Sainsburys branch in Hertfordshire today

Empty shelves pictured near water bottles at a Sainsburys supermarket in London Colney, Hertfordshire, this morning

Empty shelves pictured near water bottles at a Sainsburys supermarket in London Colney, Hertfordshire, this morning

A largely empty frozen goods section seen at a Sainsburys supermarket in London Colney, Hertfordshire, this morning

A largely empty frozen goods section seen at a Sainsburys supermarket in London Colney, Hertfordshire, this morning

An industry leader has warned Boris Johnson (pictured) that factories across the country could stop production due to rising energy costs amid fears of a 'winter of discontent'

An industry leader has warned Boris Johnson (pictured) that factories across the country could stop production due to rising energy costs amid fears of a ‘winter of discontent’

Analysis of price rises in the last year shows the cost of a second-hand car has risen more than £1,600, a tank of fuel is up more than £10 and the price of a pint of beer is creeping close to £4

Analysis of price rises in the last year shows the cost of a second-hand car has risen more than £1,600, a tank of fuel is up more than £10 and the price of a pint of beer is creeping close to £4

Exclusive research for the Daily Mail by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) also yesterday revealed how inflation will cost the typical family of four an extra £1,800 by the end of this year. Meanwhile, a retired couple can expect to see living costs rise by more than £1,100, and a lower income couple could be stung by nearly £900

Exclusive research for the Daily Mail by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) also yesterday revealed how inflation will cost the typical family of four an extra £1,800 by the end of this year.Meanwhile, a retired couple can expect to see living costs rise by more than £1,100, and a lower income couple could be stung by nearly £900

Amid fears that empty supermarket shelves will continue and worsen as Christmas approaches, hundreds of thousands of panicked shoppers have already booked in their delivery slots for the festive season.

A survey of 1,000 consumers by The Grocer revealed that two thirds of shoppers were either worried or ‘very worried’ by potential shortages of food and drink ahead of the festive season.

Supermarkets have been ramping up orders for turkey, the trimmings and other essentials to cope with an earlier than usual rush, according to the magazine.

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Retailers have warned of empty shelves and delays to gifts due to gaps in the global supply chain and a lack of HGV drivers, amid concerns of a ‘winter of discontent’ hitting the UK.

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