Woolworths reveal how long Aussie pantry stockpiles will last

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After weeks of shortages and restrictions on certain items, Woolworths has relaxed limits and revealed just how well-stocked Australian pantries are during the coronavirus pandemic.

In an update to Woolworths customers, CEO Brad Banducci revealed after weeks of increased demand, the situation is “undoubtedly calming” with promising signs shoppers are now returning to buying what they need rather than hoarding.

“... the average Australian household has almost two weeks worth of typical pantry items at home,” Mr Banducci said.

Picture of a Woolworths store and a stock photo of a stocked pantry. Australian shopping habits are "calming" Woolworths CEO says.
Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci has announced shopping habits are returning to normal. Source: Getty Images

He announced this week Woolworths was able to lift the restrictions on buying limits.

“Including paracetamol and ibuprofen (both back to their normal limits of 5 per transaction), cough and cold remedies and body wash,” he said.

However, there is an exception – restrictions remain on toilet paper due to the continuing demand.

“It’s up to 14.1 million rolls this week, more than last week’s 11.5 million, but not at the highs of 20 million we saw a few weeks ago,” Mr Banducci explained.

“It’s likely driven by having much more supply available.”

Another sought-after item amid the coronavirus pandemic is hand sanitiser.

Mr Banducci explained another 500,000 units of hand sanitiser is expected to be hitting the shelves next week, but warns supply will still be “patchy”, as demand is up 1000 per cent, year-on-year.

Empty toilet paper aisles at the start of March, as people stockpiled toilet paper due to the coronavirus.
Toilet paper buying limits still apply, Woolworths has said, while other limits have been lifted. Source: Getty

What Australians are buying

Now that Australians are mostly confined to their homes, Woolworths has observed some buying habits which shed light on what shoppers are doing with their time and what they are eating.

In the lead up to Easter, Woolworths revealed cake mixes and cleaning products had been two of the “highest growth categories”.

“If we were all bakers going into Easter, now, as winter looms, we are enjoying more warming comfort foods like soups and casseroles,” Mr Banducci wrote.

“Dried herbs and spices are up by more than 70 per cent with dried soup mixes more than doubling.

“It’s a trend we’re also seeing at BIG W with kitchen appliances like slow cookers also seeing an uplift.”

Mr Banducci said it was no surprise Woolworths has seen a 50 per cent increase in hair colourants and a 40 per cent increase in nail polish and removers, while everyone up keeps their beauty routines from home.

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