Corona, the Ukraine war, inflation, the energy crisis, delivery bottlenecks – crises many are already stocking up at home – out of fear and/or common sense.
Corona pandemic, Ukraine war, inflation, energy crisis, supply bottlenecks, impending blackouts – the crises are piling up. Many people hoard at home – out of fear and/or common sense. Food prices in supermarkets are up about 20 percent from the previous year, but some products are selling like hot cakes – especially those suitable for stocking. So, how is the situation, are there still obstacles? Will some commodities become scarce? Do price increases affect purchasing behavior? And how diligent you are in sufficiency in emergency situations? Experts and consumers have their say.
Anyone who has been shopping at the supermarket in Bad Arolsen and the surrounding area during these weeks will see empty shelves again and again. Where there was pasta, flour, sugar, sweets and even milk, mineral water or dog food, there were big gaps, at least temporarily. Food in all its forms seems to be in short supply, to a greater or lesser extent, and in many markets it is being rationed. Perhaps that is why more and more people are thinking about storage.
Renewal of some rare products
From the point of view of supermarkets, the situation is currently tense. “The demand for pasta, sweets, milk and coffee is particularly high at the moment, so you can’t keep up with demand,” says store manager Karsten Zimmermann at the REWE store in Bad Arolsen. Overall, however, the increased prices at the Bad Arolser market have led to lower demand and fewer hamster purchases. Promotional goods such as Dallmeyr Prodomo coffee or Nutella are currently in great demand.
REWE and Edeka supermarkets will try to take countermeasures and thus keep the skyrocketing prices in check. For example, it was not currently possible to reach an agreement with the manufacturer Mars during price negotiations. So there are currently no orders and shortages for Uncle Benz’s rice and animal feed like Whiskas or Sheba. “There are two main reasons for the scarcity of shares,” says Hans-Richard Schneeweiß, spokesman for the EDEKA Handelsgesellschaft Hessenring, which is responsible for markets in Bad Arolsen and Wolfhagen: “First, the current dispute between retail chains and suppliers. “The price expectations of some suppliers are simply unworldly,” says Schneeweiß, who talks about the regulatory role of trading firms. However, there are only problems for loyal brand customers, because the choice of brands is still very large.
The second reason for the shortage is production problems due to the energy crisis, because raw materials are becoming scarce and transportation is difficult. “Ultimately, there are a number of macroeconomic conditions that lead to unrest,” Schneevis asserts and quotes Economics Minister Robert Habeck: “We have to adapt to this: the land of milk and honey is taking a break – we have to slow down.”
The result for supermarkets: Product advertising continues to be very important, and the number of pages in campaign brochures will remain the same, says Schneeweiß, emphasizing: “Our customers are now buying more carefully and are more sensitive to promotions with inexpensive specials “. A look at a customer’s shopping cart reveals that the percentage of sales that were sold as part of total sales has increased from 15 to 21 to 22 percent.
The supply is generally stable
Discount Aldi does not want to comment on price developments and commodity shortages. Christian Schneider from Aldi Purchaseing: “The supply situation remains stable. As an essential supplier, we ensure that millions of people are fed every day and that our branches are supplied with new goods every day. From time to time delays can occur in our suppliers or in the logistics chain and we receive goods in later than planned. However, if items are temporarily out of stock, they are quickly replenished.”
Despite all the obvious signs, many customers are already collecting supplies for an emergency. Potatoes, frozen vegetables, rice, canned food, sugar, flour, tomato passata, juice, ten pounds of coffee, three boxes of water – Silvia Pullman from Bad Arolsen has already taken great care and created a pantry corner with long-term food in her cellar – enough for several weeks. “You have to be careful not to go crazy with collecting,” she says, self-deprecating.
Erika Friedrich from Bad Arolsen also wants to keep quiet, saying: “I have so much at home that it will last three to four days in case of an emergency. For reasons of space, I don’t want to collect more.”
Wolfgang Hallbich from Bad Arolsen also has pasta, preserves and more prepared for emergencies. “That’s enough for a week, but I don’t believe in hamsters at all.”
Many respondents don’t want to talk about their hoarding, perhaps also because they don’t like to show fear, and hoarding has a negative reputation.
“But a good supply has nothing to do with hamsters,” explains Sabine Tepel-Herrendorf from DHB – Household Network, Landesverband Hessen e. V. The Consumer Advice Service in Korbach. She says, “Having a hamster is more emotional than rational. One buys out of fear of shortage, perhaps unsure of what the future will bring. Above all, you buy as much as possible beyond your own needs.”
At the beginning of the Corona pandemic, it was toilet paper, later oil or flour. Now, the list of foods that could dwindle or disappear from supermarket shelves in the coming months seems to be growing a little bit each day. And the goods that are still on the shelves are getting more expensive every day. The newspaper “Lebensmittelzeitung” reports that some everyday products and commodities from different regions are already up to 40 percent more expensive.
On the safe side in an emergency
However, the empty shelves in recent weeks have a sobering background: delivery problems, a shortage of carbon dioxide, which is essential to the manufacture and preservation of many products. Rising prices for every type of energy, agricultural raw materials, packaging and transportation are becoming much more expensive, and there are crop failures in Canada and South America. Last but not least, important raw materials were lost due to the war in Ukraine.
“It’s easy to understand that many people are unsettled by these developments, but with planned stocking, you’re well prepared for an emergency even without a hamster,” says Sabine Tepel-Herrendorf, and explains: “Good preparation means you can look down on people living in Home they buy accordingly You should be able to get a 14-day supply The corresponding lists can be obtained from many associations and organizations, including us It is important to think ahead of time about where to store food and, above all, to maintain supply. This includes checking expiration dates regularly. If some groceries are close to their minimum date limit, it’s best to use them up and replenish them if necessary.”
Of course, there is also a difference between being prepared for a specific nutritional deficiency and having a major blackout, a blackout. If your light bulb, refrigerator, freezer, microwave, electric stove and water supply are out, you need more to narrow the time. If you want to drink, cook, brush your teeth or wash your teeth, the water supply needs to be much larger. Candles and flashlights with batteries also belong to the shopping list.
It would be wise to update your medicine cabinet, and don’t forget about your pets. The Federal Office for Disaster Assistance and Civil Protection (BBK) recommends providing food and water as well as various hygiene items, disinfectants and cleaning agents, a first aid kit and simple camping equipment along with a gas stove and fuel.
How prepared you are also depends on your space and financial situation. “But it’s always better to have at least a small amount of food on hand than none at all,” says Sabine Teebel-Herndorf, stressing that “canned food is the simplest form of food storage. Sometimes they last for years.”
But you can also remember the good old form of preservation. Many fruits and vegetables make this much easier than you think. You don’t need a special cookware anymore. The fruit can be made into jams, jellies and compotes even faster. Pickled vegetables will keep for two months. Vacuum-packed food can be frozen and can be kept for a very long time.” And one more tip: Consumer Advice Centers offer advice on all topics related to storage and food preservation options. Barbara Lisi and Achim Rossdorf
“Personal inventory checklist” from the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK):
Canning of sauce and compote with 2.5 liters of water per day per person, milk and dairy products, fish, meat, eggs, sweet spreads, sugar, chocolate, pastries or pretzel sticks. Soap, detergent, toothbrush and toothpaste, paper towels, toilet paper, bin liners, household gloves, disinfectant, matches, lighter, can opener. more information: www.bbk.bund.de