Office for National Statistics (ONS) states that 27% of food service firms have reported lower than normal stock levels


Today, August 26th, 2021, the Office for National Statistics stated that a startling 27% of food service firms have reported lower than normal stock levels and major high street brands such as McDonald’s Nando’s KFC and Subway are all warning their customers that there are shortages across all their UK outlets.

Writing from direct personal experience, a member of the Isis Insurance team took her family for a meal at Nando’s last weekend, and they had no burgers, wraps, pittas or… chicken!

ONS also today stated that low stock levels were also reported by 23% of manufacturers and 25% of firms in the wholesale and retail trade, and repair of motor vehicles trade, between July 26th and August 8th 2021.

Iceland and Co-Op have recently stated that they have never seen such a shortage of stock on their shelves and are warning that unless the worsening supply and distribution of food and related goods improves drastically, Christmas this year could be dramatically affected.

This lack of supply is down to a labour shortfall as many EU nationals have left the UK and these jobs remain unfilled, and the manufacturing industry has a real shortage of materials to create the necessary volume of products. The shortage of HGV drivers in the UK – some 100,000 and counting – has a real impact on the distribution of these products also.

The ONS’s survey also showed the rising impact of the lorry driver shortage on the haulage sector with the transportation and storage industry seeing nearly 1/5th of firms, 18 per cent exactly, have paused or sopped trading in mid-August. You can read the full ONS report here.