Last time stage three COVID-19 restrictions were introduced it was toilet paper that was the panic buyers’ item, this time it is meat.
Early last week saw the meat section at supermarkets stripped bare as shoppers stocked up. As part of Melbourne’s stage four lockdown, meat processing factories and abattoirs have seen reductions in the number of staff meaning a slowing in production and distribution.
Brett Morrison from Morrison’s Meats, the only retail butcher shop in Lakes Entrance, had a rush of customers too when news landed of restrictions being reintroduced.
“Monday last week was definitely panic day, but it has been busy since,” Brett said.
“Customers were buying more than normal or needed to which does put a massive strain on supply.”
Brett said they were able to keep up with the demand, but a rumour that KFC was running out of chickens put high demand on that product.
“Last time we had stage three it was mince, this time it was chicken,” he said.
“The problem is when people buy more than they need it creates high demand and that causes wholesale prices to rise, so hoarders make the price go up.
“Supply will be okay, it will average out.”
Brett explained that food services to restaurants was down so there is a good supply at the moment.
“We haven’t needed to put limits on any product,” he said.