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Consumer Council urges people in NI not to over-buy food

It said it had been reassured empty shelves would not be seen in supermarkets if households only bought what they usually needed.

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Retailers and a body representing consumers in Northern Ireland have urged shoppers to stop over-buying food (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Retailers and a body representing consumers in Northern Ireland have urged shoppers to stop over-buying food (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Retailers and a body representing consumers in Northern Ireland have urged shoppers to stop over-buying food (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Retailers and a body representing consumers in Northern Ireland have urged shoppers to stop over-buying food.

The Consumer Council said it had been reassured empty shelves would not be seen in supermarkets if households only bought what they usually needed.

Covid-19 has sparked panic buying of items like toilet paper and pasta in many areas.

Supermarkets have enough products to go around, but they are under pressure with this sudden increase in demand.Aodhan Connolly

John French, chief executive at The Consumer Council, said: “We recognise that many people in Northern Ireland are rightly worried about the spread of coronavirus and everyone understands why this has led to over-buying in our supermarkets and other grocery shops.

“However, following discussions with the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, The Consumer Council are reassured that empty shelves at supermarkets will not occur if households undertake their normal shopping patterns, and only buy what they usually need for themselves and their families.”

Aodhan Connolly, director at the consortium which represents supermarkets, said overbuying was causing unnecessary challenges for retailers.

He said: “Supermarkets have enough products to go around, but they are under pressure with this sudden increase in demand.

“Food retailers are focusing all their efforts on getting as much food on to their shelves as possible, and we would therefore ask that consumers work with retailers at this time, and only buy what they need.”

PA