One in five Scots unable to buy essential food in past fortnight  

empty shelves

One in five Scots were unable to purchase essential food items in the past two weeks, new research reveals.

The research, conducted by delivery management specialist Urbantz, 18% of people in Scotland could not buy essential food items – the third-highest percentage of people in the UK. The study also found that almost a quarter of Scots were unable to purchase non-essential food items.

The study, which used new ONS data on goods shortages, found that as a result of the shortages 12% of people in Scotland bought less food than usual between 22 September and 3 October – double the percentage of Scots who purchased less food in the previous fortnight.

In addition, one in four Scottish residents reported that when they went food shopping, items that they needed were not available and they could not find a replacement, while half said that there was less variety of food in the shops than usual.

On a UK-wide level, one in six people struggled to buy essential food items in the last fortnight, and 15% of people couldn’t buy fuel. The North East, Yorkshire and the Humber and the East of England were the areas worst hit by food shortages, with 21% of people in those regions unable to buy essential food.

When it came to fuel shortages, the South East and the East of England were the regions that struggled most. In the South East, 22% of people were unable to access fuel – 57% higher than the national average.

A spokesperson for Urbantz, which conducted the data, said: “With the country facing significant delivery of food and other essentials, it’s vital to look at the experiences of families in the UK, and what they have dealt with in the past two weeks when trying to shop for food, medicine, and fuel.

“The impact of the driver shortage is felt across the entire supply chain, all the way through to the last mile – where consumers are faced with fewer choices at checkout and longer delays on their deliveries due to retailers’ struggles to keep their warehouses stocked.”