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Deep-Dive into UK’s Supermarket Assortments Ahead of Brexit

With increasing uncertainty about the impact of Brexit across the United Kingdom, there are major concerns about food security. Prominent UK grocers have increased the cumulative food supply across categories by 80% compared to the previous period.

The UK relies on a ‘just in time’ supply chain with other EU countries to receive fresh products with relatively shorter shelf lives. Fearing gridlock at ports, new customs checks, and high tariffs, UK retailers have begun stockpiling.  A third of the food eaten in the United Kingdom is imported from the European Union. There is an even higher dependency in March as UK produce is out of season. 1 in 10 consumers began stockpiling food in February itself.  Retailers increased their supply of fresh food by over 600% in March 2019 compared to March 2018, however their warehouse and chilled storage space are now treaching capacity. All these supply chain shocks have led to consumers facing 2x as many price changes as last year, with 50% more price changes from February to March alone.

In fear of leaving shelves empty, the Food Cupboard category consisting of dry foods like cereal, pasta, and biscuits saw a 390% spike in assortment compared to Q1 2018. Canned goods saw an even higher rate of stockpile with a 430% increase compared to Q1 last year.

To combat Brexit chaos in the beverage category too, retailers are also hoarding liquor. Stock in Q1 2019 is up over 250% compared to Q1 2018 with rum as the most active category and boxed wine facing the largest markups.

All data insights are powered by Intelligence Node’s flagship competitive benchmarking solution powered by Deep learning AI and fed by the world’s largest retail database. To get access to the full Brexit report on FMCG, OTC medication, and three more categories, get in touch.

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