The boss of Sainsbury’s has hinted that shoppers may have less choice when doing their food shopping this Christmas.
The supermarket chief said that there should be plenty of food to go around – but that it might not be consumers’ first choice.
In an open letter to customers, Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts said: “I’m writing to let you know what we’re doing at Sainsbury’s to help you plan and manage your Christmas budget.
“I also want to reassure you that there will be plenty of food and that we are confident that even if the exact product you are looking for isn’t available, there will be a good alternative.”
Roberts said Sainsbury’s stores would get deliveries right up until Christmas Eve, and that longer-life products such as Christmas cakes and puddings, mince pies, nuts and cranberry sauce are already available.
He added “We expect to sell more fresh turkeys this year than ever before and we’ll have plenty available, but if you can’t wait until they arrive on December 19, frozen turkeys are already in store, as well as frozen party food.”
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Fresh party food will arrive in stores from mid-November, and fresh festive food – like pigs in blankets and Christmas cheeses – from December 1, Roberts said.
Christmas grocery home delivery slots will become available to Sainsbury’s Delivery Pass holders from November 23 and to the wider public from November 30.
All Sainsbury’s supermarkets will be shut on Boxing Day to give staff an extra day off as a thankyou for their hard work during the worst of the pandemic.
The same applies to its petrol stations and branches of Argos and Habitat, which it owns.
The supermarket is then open again as normal on December 27.
Demand for turkeys is soaring ahead of Christmas as shoppers brace for festive food shortages, experts warn.
Frozen turkey sales has almost doubled, according to analysts at Kantar, suggesting that Brits are stashing them in the freezer in case they can’t find any closer to Christmas.
Kantar also said frozen stuffing sales are up by a fifth, while Iceland said it had seen a 400% increase in turkey sales and a three-fold hike in frozen party food purchases.
Food experts have told shoppers they should consider buying Christmas dinner in advance and storing it in the freezer if they want to avoid going without.
Iceland managing director Richard Walker said the supermarket’s Christmas website had gone live a month earlier than 2020 following customer demand.
Aldi has also reported soaring sales of frozen turkeys and Christmas puddings amid fears over a supply chain crisis.
The supermarket is reportedly selling 1,500 frozen turkey crowns a day, while pudding sales are up 45%.
Families are said to be hoarding as much as £2,000 worth of food for the festive season as a supply chain crisis continues.
Tesco has also noticed an uptick in frozen turkey sales, while two weeks ago frozen turkeys sold out at a number of supermarkets as Brits got ready for Christmas.Internet Explorer Channel Network