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Supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Waitrose have said there has been a high demand in pet food over the past few months due to the rise in pet ownership during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sainsbury’s has apologised after running out of certain pet food although is yet to confirm which brands are affected.
The supermarket said this was due to a “national shortage” but added that canned and dry options are still available.
In an email to customers, Sainsbury’s urged shoppers to opt for pet food in different forms while it tried to resolve the “ongoing” problem.
The supermarket said: “In the meantime, we have plenty of cans and trays available. These are recyclable, so you can do your bit for the environment too.”
Sainsbury’s is working hard to maintain stock levels of certain foods.
Britons took to Twitter to share their concerns over the food shortage situation.
One person wrote: “I just had an email from Sainsbury’s apologising for the shortage of cat and dog food pouches (which we’ve had problems buying this year) and they expect it to last all year!”
Another said: “Email from Sainsbury’s about national shortage of pet food pouches, probably ongoing through the year. Sorry cats.”
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Morrisons have also said that it may not have full availability of pet food for several months but added that it did have enough stock for customers currently.
A spokesperson for the supermarket said: “We’re working closely with our suppliers who are investing in increasing their capacity and we may not have full availability for several months.
“We do have enough stock to support all our customers and their new pets and so there is no need for people to buy more than they need.”
Waitrose is also running low on pet food while supermarket giant Tesco has seen strong demand.
Upmarket Waitrose hopes to have its full range of pouches back on the shelves as soon as it can.
Helen Warren-Piper, general manager of Mars Petcare UK, which makes Pedigree and Whiskas, said: “We recognise retailers are experiencing unusual demand for pet food during lockdown.
“We have made significant investment into our manufacturing network – including investment in our UK Melton pet food plant.”
Pet food maker Purina, which is sold in supermarkets, has said that they are experiencing extremely high demand for its products.
The company said: “We are experiencing unprecedented demand for our products, including cat food pouches where we have seen sales growth for our Felix and Gourmet brands at almost three times that of the market.
“We have been working hard to meet this additional demand and are producing more pet food – including pouches – than ever before.”
However customers are urged not to stockpile or panic buy pet food.
Andrew Opie, the director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, said: “Exceptionally high demand is putting pressure on supplies of food pouches for pets.
“Retailers are working with suppliers to address and rectify the issue and will do everything they can to minimise the impact on customers.”
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