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Lockdown 2.0 is here – what does this mean for the UK potato industry?

Lockdown 2.0 is upon us and this brings widespread closure of pubs and restaurants once again. Although the rules differ across the country, with Wales’ firebreak rules coming to an end, Scotland experiencing regional restrictions and England in a full national lockdown.

This will inevitably effect the potato industry, but the effect is unlikely to be as dramatic as the first lockdown.

Casting our minds back to March, certain items, including potatoes, were flying off supermarket shelves as the nation seemingly went into a state of panic. As well, almost the entire foodservice sector closed down with minimal notice.

This time around, although there has been reports of some panic buying, it has certainly been at a much lower rate than back in the run up to lockdown 1.0. It is expected that retail sales will remain strong once again but it is likely to be more consistent this time.

On the other hand, we have the foodservice sector. We know last time this sector was hit particularly badly with dine-in premises’ forced to close. Not just this, but places that may be deemed as takeaways, such as fish and chip shops and large quick serve restaurants (QSRs), were also forced to cease trading while they transformed their business to abide with Covid secure ways of working.

As a result of the first lockdown many businesses within the foodservice sector are better prepared to adapt to a takeaway/delivery service.

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