Customers are already stocking up on Christmas products as concerns over shortages grow.

Recent research by Lumina Intelligence found that a third (34%) of consumers either have or are considering purchasing food and drink for Christmas before the end of October. The survey found that 55% of consumers are expressing some level of worry following media coverage of stockpiling food and drink for Christmas, stemming from concerns over product shortages.

The main categories that people are stockpiling are confectionery (66% of respondents), crisps and snacks (57%) and tinned/packaged goods (55%). More than half of respondents are also considering purchasing alcohol (55%) and soft drinks (51%) before the end of October, with a view to keeping for Christmas.

The survey showed that those in the youngest (18-24) and eldest (65+) age categories are the least likely to be worried about shortages ahead of Christmas, as a result of shoppers stockpiling.

Despite over half of consumers expressing concern around product shortages, only a third (34%) either have or are considering stockpiling:

Insight director at Lumina Intelligence Blonnie Whist said: “Christmas this year will be incredibly different to last, when travel restrictions and last-minute regional lockdowns ended most people’s festive plans. Consumers will be looking to make up for lost time and with no restrictions surrounding gatherings we can expect big celebrations. However, media coverage surrounding product shortages due to the HGV driver shortage, Brexit and Covid is concerning shoppers, with some already stockpiling ahead of Christmas and many more likely to follow suit.”

Whist advised retailers to start their festive work now. “Retailers need to be prepared for Christmas preparations to start early this year and should expect a bumper year for sales, but also need to communicate clearly with shoppers to ensure purchasing behaviours do not hit the extremes of April 2020 when the pressures on the supply chain peaked.”

For more on the festive season, check out The Convenience Mix Podcast: Stocking Up for Christmas.