Sunday 8 March 2020

#504 Inferior peanuts

The large Sainsbury's was 30-40% lower in all stocks of dry food and household items, with many products completely unavailable.

I'd heard that shoppers were "panic-buying". That they were all being stupid. Was that really what was happening?

I knew some people were concerned. There'd be employers issuing guidance on isolating or working from home as a contingency plan. Japan had shut its schools.

I thought about individuals carrying out their weekly shops. Why not pick up a few extra items? Just in case. Afterall, I'd end up getting them in due course anyway. Who likes trudging around the shops every week? Come to think of it, why don't I buy more of these things regularly?

It only took a minority of shoppers to think like this for the shelves to start looking less full. Once it was noticeable, the chain reaction started. People who hadn't even thought about it suddenly became aware their favourite products might not be there next week. So they filled their trolleys.

I was able to get the items I'd gone in for but had to switch brands for most of them and came out with BBQ peanuts instead of chilli.

At the time, walking around depleted shelves had felt like an amusing novelty. When I got home, I heard that the Italian stores were out of pasta. 

It wasn't long before I found myself wondering  if the panic-buyers had the right idea afterall. Would it be the same next week? Could it even be worse? Maybe I should've got more peanuts.