The empty grocery store shelves that have become symbolic of COVID-19 anxieties are mostly due to “panic buying” and not indicative of larger supply problems, major retailers and experts say.
“There is enough food being manufactured. There is enough food capable of being shipped,” said Karl Littler, senior vice-president of public affairs at the Retail Council of Canada, which represents most of the country’s major grocery chains including Loblaws, Metro and Sobeys. “There’s not actually a shortage of food.”
In statements to The Globe and Mail, major grocery retailers reiterated this. “We do not feel that there is a cause for concern as there is a significant supply of essential items,” said Anthony Longo, president of Longo’s. Loblaws chairman Galen Weston, meanwhile, said that “volumes are already normalizing somewhat, and we are catching up.”