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Dublin: 14 °C Wednesday 26 September, 2018
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'Significant increase in bread production' as consumers pick shelves dry in anticipation of The Beast

The nation’s sudden appetite for retail bread therapy shows no signs of abating.

shutterstock_1026072895 Source: Shutterstock/Eka Wong

IRELAND HAS GONE bread mad (Brad? Mead?).

With the polar vortex known as The Beast from the East imminently expected to leave all corners of the land covered in snow, social media has been awash with posts showing supermarket shelves stripped bare of essentials like bread, milk, fuel, and fresh vegetables and food produce.

And the yeast-product enthusiasm, which kicked off with gusto yesterday evening, showed no sign of abating this afternoon. No sooner were shelves restocked than they’ve been depleted by the hordes of ravenous bread-piranha.

IMG-20180227-WA0000 SuperValu in Palmerstown this afternoon Source: Jenny Russell

Not that the various retailers, nor the bread producers, have been slow on the uptake. They appear to be well aware there’s a bread rush afoot.

A spokesman for bread suppliers Johnston, Mooney and O’Brien told TheJournal.ie that the company has “significantly increased our production to meet the dramatic increase in sales being experienced” due to the “unprecedented demand levels experienced yesterday and today”.

Image uploaded from iOS Dunnes Stores on St Stephen's Green this afternoon Source: Nicky Ryan/TheJournal.ie

We will continue to monitor demand over the coming days and react accordingly, within available capacity, to ensure market demand for our products is fully met.

Two of the other main bread producers, Pat the Baker and Brennans Bread, could not be reached for a statement this afternoon. Possibly because every available hand is being utilised to maximise dough output before Thursday.

IMG_20180227_182806 Only a few loaves left in SuperValu, Firhouse Shopping Centre. Source: Dave O'Keeffe

IMG_20180227_182745 No potatoes left in SuperValu, Firhouse Shopping Centre.

Demand

It’s understood however that both suppliers have radically increased bread production however in the face of the current demand.

Meanwhile, Tesco says it has increased the availability of its “core grocery essentials” in the face of the unprecedented demand – the company has upped its bread availability by 20% and its supplies of milk, fuel, and fresh food by 10% overnight.

“Tesco has increased the number of colleagues working in our in-store bakeries to ensure we have as much fresh bakery available as possible throughout the day,” the company said in a statement, adding that “our teams are working around the clock to ensure that stock reaches our stores to help customers prepare for the bad weather ahead”.

Its stores are also stocking snow grips for shoes and “additional stocks such as radiators and heaters, batteries, bottled water, and de-icing materials”.

SuperValu was unable to give an update on how its stores are faring in the face of demand due to the individual franchised nature of its store network, but reiterated its previous statement: “SuperValu has a plan in place in the event of adverse weather conditions to ensure the availability of stock in store during this period.”

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10215445279625416&set=a.2785162108463.2150905.1240584158&type=3&permPage=1

‘Monitoring the situation’

We advise the public to contact their local SuperValu stores to check the availability of specific items.

Meanwhile, Lidl Ireland says it will ”be closely monitoring the situation as Storm Emma (the tropical storm from the Iberian peninsula set to combine with The Beast to create the predicted blizzard) approaches Ireland.”

At present all our stores will be open this week as planned. Already we are seeing increased traffic to our stores as people begin to stock up in advance of the storm and we have increased orders and deliveries to meet the rising demand. We will keep customers updated on store closures via our official Facebook page.

Aldi and Dunnes Stores had not replied to a request for comment at the time of publication.

So, broadly speaking, it seems the supermarkets have the situation in hand, or at least are doing their level best to get on top of things.

And if worst comes to worst you could always head to Lidl on Thomas Street in Dublin:

1 Source: Twitter/Lilmizzirish

No shortage of bread there.

With reporting by Nicky Ryan

Read: Taoiseach says minister’s advice to turn the heating on 24/7 ‘is not the advice of government’

Read: ‘Continuous snow’ to hit Ireland as Beast from the East clashes with Storm Emma

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