18% of Britons admit to stockpiling food since coronavirus outbreak, reveals poll

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20th March 2020 13:56 - Retail

18% of Britons admit to stockpiling food since coronavirus outbreak: Reports of people stockpiling food, bulk-buying toilet roll and stocking up on paracetamol have been headline news in recent weeks - with images of empty shelves and checkout queues dominating the front pages. 

A nationally representative survey of 2,011 adults, however, has found that just 18% have themselves engaged in stockpiling food items - while slightly less (16%) admitted to stockpiling toiletries, toilet roll or medicines such as paracetamol.

The Walnut Unlimited survey also revealed other behavioural findings, with almost  two-fifths (39%) revealing they have been avoiding going to crowded places since  the virus has been reported in the UK, while 46% said they were refraining from shaking hands with people they come into contact with. Almost half of the people surveyed said they have changed their personal hygiene habits now they are more informed about how the viruis spreads, while 17% are using public transport less, and 14% said they have been working from home more frequently.

When asked about the areas of life people were worried about the virus impacting the most, almost a third (31%) said their physical health was their most pressing concern, while just over a quarter said they were worried about changes to their financial situation (26%) as well as work prospects (20%). 

Of the respondents who said they are currently feeling negative about their finances, 75% are feeling worried about how coronavirus might further affect their situation, with almost two in five (38%) saying this worry was ‘extreme’.

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