Major supermarkets struggle to meet demand for cat food and say situation could last all year
The rising ownership of cats and dogs during lockdown has led to a UK cat food pouch shortage and warnings of a nationwide shortage of supplies that is likely to last all year.
Sainsbury’s sent an email alert to customers who buy cat food regularly to apologise about a “national shortage of cat food pouches”.
It said: “We think this issue will be ongoing through the year, but we hope to get them back on to shelves as quickly as possible.”
The email urged customers to opt instead for cat food in other forms while it tried to resolve the problem with pouch supplies.
Morrisons said it was also working closely with suppliers who were investing in increasing their capacity. It said in a statement that it may not have full availability for several months.
“That being said, 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,” it said.
Tesco, Britain’s biggest supermarket, said it had experienced particularly strong demand for branded cat food pouches and that it was working closely with its suppliers to meet it.
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.”
Demand for cats has soared during the pandemic as the animals have helped make up for the lack of human contact.
“Avoid buying pouched food as the used packaging cannot be recycled. Always buy tins – which are simple to recycle – as this is much better for the environment.’