Panic buying is getting worse amongst anxious consumers as we approach Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations. Since the burst of the sanitary outbreak, we have witnessed several rounds of panic purchases that wiped out grocery shelves and prompted supply shortages all over the nation. After new lockdowns started to be enforced in several states, people rushed into the stores one more time to stockpile on essentials fearing strict movement limitations amid a dark winter.
Now, as festivities get closer, buyers have been massively stocking up on holidays related goods, even causing an unexpected shortage in Christmas trees due to the sudden and incredibly high spike in demand. But while some are being driven by panic, others have already exhausted all of their options and are being driven by complete desperation. That’s what we are going to discuss in this video.
Goods have been flying off the shelves, and this time around their purchases aren’t limited to toilet paper and cleaning supplies. Wine, meat, dairy products, pasta, baking mixes, and several holidays related products are disappearing from stores fairly quickly. Although some major food retailers have affirmed to have enough to attend to the demand, in multiple locations they have started to reinstate purchase limits on high-demand items, which has sparked anxiety among shoppers. Retailers have affirmed it’s essential that to impose restrictions to prevent buyers from hoarding and ensure there won’t be another round of shortages.
However, due to transportation issues supply shortages are expected to occur during the winter, and prices are projected to keep soaring in months ahead. At this stage of the crisis, the panic buying trend has extended its range to several different products, as Iacocca revealed. According to the National Retail Federation, the sale of holiday decorations, candy and gifts is expected to rise this year too. But as some of the most preferred items are already scarce on the shelves, prices for holiday items are also expected to rise.
The latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data pointed out that the consumer price index is up 3.6%. This current round of panic-driven stockpiling tendencies is being led by Americans’ increasing fear of what might happen during this dark winter as well as a need for comfort by relying on traditions to shift the focus from the tragic events we have experienced this year. However, for some, this growing desire of running away from the spectrum of disconcerting news and upsetting circumstances has become a little too extreme, and now, they have been trying to overcompensate by celebrating the holidays to the max.
Consequently, and also very unexpectedly, a Christmas tree shortage is being registered across the nation. Jennifer Greene, the executive director of North Carolina Christmas Tree Association highlighted that media coverage about tree shortages may have spurred some of the panic buying behavior, but there are underlying reasons why people are in a hurry to guarantee their valued holiday symbol. “I think people want some joy and a bright spot, a light at the end of the tunnel,” Greene said. “It’s been a rough year for everyone, and Christmas is a happy time. They’re wanting to get that earlier and make it last longer in such a gloomy year.”
From food to cleaning products and even Christmas trees, panic buying is a reflection of how the sanitary outbreak and its collateral damages have impacted on the mindset of our population. In any case, those who can still work from home and buy their own food are on the most fortunate side of the spectrum.
A new survey conducted by market research company OnePoll found that roughly 4 in 10 Americans report that they experienced food insecurity for the first time this year, with about half of them revealing they’ve struggled to afford food, while 37% affirmed to have skipped meals so there was enough food for their children to eat. On average, there was a 60% increase in those seeking help from food banks across the nation. In some counties, one in two children are now facing hunger.
To make things worse, the high level of demand is pushing several pantries to an inevitable food cliff, which means many of them are about to exhaust their resources. Additionally, with the expiration of federal aid programs set to happen in a couple of weeks, millions more are likely to suffer from the desperation and anguish of not knowing when it will be their next meal. And as the economic deterioration deepens, we will be headed to more challenges as we enter 2021.

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