Around one in six adults in Britain said they were not able to buy essential food items at some point during the past two weeks due to products not being available, according to a survey.
While around six in 10 (61 per cent) said everything they needed was available to buy, 18 per cent said they had not been able to find essential foods they needed on a regular basis.
A quarter of people reported they had not found other non-essential food items, while a smaller proportion said they had not been able to buy medicine (four per cent) or fuel (four per cent).
The survey, by the Office for National Statistics, was collected between September 8 and 19 from a sample of more than 3500 adults.
Some 40 per cent of people questioned said they thought there was less variety in the shops than usual, while 20 per cent reported that items they needed were not available and they could not find a replacement.
Around one in eight (13 per cent) said they had to go to more shops than usual to get what they needed.
The figures also suggest around two in 10 (22 per cent) adults who tried to buy medicine or get a prescription experienced some differences compared with usual.
The most common reason was having to wait longer for a prescription (13 per cent of adults).
Other reasons included items being unavailable with no replacement able to be found (four per cent), or people having to go to more pharmacies than usual to find what they needed (four per cent).
with PA Wires