Frozen turkey sale rises by 400 per cent as Christmas panic buy sets in

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Frozen turkey sales have risen by more than 400 per cent, suggesting Christmas panic buying has set in Britain, reports state today (4), as prime minister Boris Johnson admitted that current shortage might last until Christmas.

Iceland said its turkey sales have gone up by 409 per cent in September 2021 compared with last year. It has also increased its order of turkeys by 20 per cent, reports said.

Reports claim that customers are “concerned about food supply” – and that with just over 12 weeks to go, they are not willing to wait around.

Chief Executive of the British Frozen Food Federation Richard Harrow said some customers have been “permanently converted” to buying frozen food.

“This combined with current concerns about food supply means many people will be opting for frozen this Christmas,” Harrow said.

Nick Allen, chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association, said that there won’t be “desperate shortage” but there won’t be “choices available for British food” either.

“We’re not saying that there’s not going to be food on the table at Christmas, but we’re struggling to put the party food together – the pigs in blankets, the netting of gammons,” Allen said, adding that food can be imported and probably “the turkeys might not be British turkeys but they may end up being French, or even turkeys from further afield”.

“We’re not saying there’s going to be desperate shortages, but there certainly won’t be the choices available for British food, that’s for certain,” Allen said.

Johnson, meanwhile, admitted on Sunday (3) that the delivery crisis could last months and stretch into Christmas time.

Asked about the haulier shortages that have been affecting food and fuel supply Chancellor Rishi Sunak said “we don’t want to just default, knee jerk, pull the immigration lever, but, that said, we want to be pragmatic”.

Speaking to BBC, Sunak today (4) said there is no “magic wand” to make disruption to fuel and food supplies disappear overnight and ministers are doing everything they can to mitigate the issue.