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Hundreds of items missing from supermarket shelves

Brexit and lockdown habits blamed for shortages


Empty shelves in some of the supermarkets the Herald visited yesterday to investigate shortages

Empty shelves in some of the supermarkets the Herald visited yesterday to investigate shortages

Empty shelves in some of the supermarkets the Herald visited yesterday to investigate shortages

Hundreds of items are nowhere to be seen in Dublin supermarkets.

Post-Brexit problems are being blamed for much of the disruption, although some chains claim a change in buying patterns, with more consumers at home in lockdown, is having an impact.

Everything from Volvic mineral water to Scottish smoked mackerel and Cadbury's confectionery was missing at various points in our trawl.

Marks & Spencer has been affected by the disruption to UK supply chains, and there were a number of items missing when we visited.

In Tesco in Clarehall, north Dublin, labels indicate that some items will not be delivered until next month.


Dunnes and SuperValu also appeared to be missing items, although the issue was less apparent in German supermarkets Aldi and Lidl.

The M&S food hall in the Omni Park Shopping Centre in Santry appeared to have run out of a variety of foods including Scottish smoked peppered mackerel, air-dried mini chorizo bites, medium cured pork pies and Viennese all-butter swirl biscuits.

The chain's flagship Grafton Street store was missing fruit and veg, along with many pre-cooked meals.

M&S has been forthcoming about the impact of Brexit, and a sign noted that supply chains from the UK have been affected for the near future.

"Following the UK's recent departure from the EU, we're transitioning to new processes and it's taking a little longer for some of our products to reach our stores," a spokesman said.

"We're working closely with our partners and suppliers to ensure customers can continue to enjoy the same great range of products."

In Tesco in Clarehall, blue labels were dotted around the shelves, each reading "Sorry out of stock".

The chain insisted it was well-prepared for Brexit, but there were some availabiity issues.

Among the treats missing were Swizzels giant love hearts, Chupa Chups lollipops, Cadbury snack bars, Kinder Surprise eggs and Animal Bar milk chocolate packs.

Six-packs of Volvic mineral water were gone, leaving customers with the choice to buy six single bottles.

Fresh-cut chips were out of stock, along with fresh Tesco cabbage and leek packs.

Aromatic shredded duck pancakes were not due for delivery until February 15, according to a label, and parts of the dairy and frozen food section looked relatively bare.

A Tesco spokesperson said: "Owing to our extensive Brexit preparation, stock-building and collaboration with suppliers, our supply chain is robust and is responding well, with plenty of stock to go around.

"As the food industry responds to this new environment, customers may experience some temporary availability issues on products such as prepared ready meals, pre-packed fish, chilled dess-erts and some seasonal produce lines.

"We continue to work with the new processes implemented at ports, and in turn with our suppliers and relevant authorities to resolve any short-term issues as quickly as possible.

"We thank our customers for their patience and remind them there is no need to change their buying habits."

SuperValu blamed a change in shopping habits instead of Brexit for some omissions from its own shelves, notably in the alcohol section.

Tequila Rose was out of stock, as was Fireball - a liquor mixed with Canadian whisky. Italian wine Intrigo Primitivo Puglia and Australian shiraz Nugan Estate Alfredo were also out of stock, along with Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc and Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava.

Jus-Rol shortcrust pastry sheets, Terry's Chocolate Orange, Toblerone 360g bars and Cadbury Fudge five-packs were also missing.

A SuperValu spokesman said: "We've not experienced any disruption to date due to Brexit.

"We're seeing a spike in demand for groceries due to a combination of families spending more time at home as a result of the latest Covid-19 restrictions and the cold weather.

"Due to heightened demand, a limited number of products are selling out faster than expected compared to our regular January forecasts, but they are re-ordered on an ongoing basis to ensure ongoing availability on store shelves."


In Dunnes, cucumbers were missing from the fruit and veg section.

McColgan's cocktail sausage rolls were sold out, as was Dunnes southern fried chicken, Dunnes smoky boneless beef ribs, Irish beef burgers and Dunnes milk chocolate digestives.

In the baby food section, Heinz Blueberry Porridge tub and scoop was out of stock, as was Heinz Banana Porridge tub and scoop and Heinz Fruit and Yoghurt Cereal tub and scoop.

However, very little seemed to be missing from Aldi and Lidl.

A Lidl Ireland spokeswoman said: "We've been scenario planning and preparing for Brexit for more than three years and as a result we do not have significant supply issues at present."

John Curtin, group buying director at Aldi Ireland, said: "Our buying teams are working very closely with our suppliers to ensure there is no disruption to our supply chain."