Shortages of basic foodstuffs in Hungarian Lidl supermarkets?

the Hungarian government recently stated that the price cap period will last until July 1. General public fear has surfaced: customers fear they won’t be able to buy basic groceries in their local supermarkets due to retailers buying price capped products. Read below for more details.

According to Wallet, retailers have already caused major shortages of staple foods in Hungarian supermarkets as they buy price-capped items – like sugar, vegetable oil and chicken breasts – in large volumes. This practice has therefore caused a disruption in the shipping process of these food products. One solution offered by an insider is for supermarkets to introduce a dual price system – a system that allows entrepreneurs to recoup the 27% tax on capped products, as is the case at petrol stations – but this is a complicated process that would require a lot of work.

Lidl chains in Hungary will take drastic measures against wholesalers. Soon, Lidl will no longer allow these customers to purchase price capped products from their stores.

The reason restaurants, small retailers and confectioners gravitate towards supermarkets is because of their attractive discount prices which are considerably below market prices. To avoid product shortages, retailers only allowed regular purchases in domestic quantities for customers. However, non-residential customers continued to purchase cheaper food items from supermarkets, reducing the amount they purchased but increasing the frequency of their purchases.

Portfolio has projected a 20-30% price increase for currently capped products once the regulations are lifted. The fact that the price cap is still in place until mid-summer means that some food items remain cheaper, while the market price of these items will continue to skyrocket, creating a significant price differential.

This is the very reason why Lidl has taken the necessary measures to prevent shortages and to be able to continue the distribution of basic necessities for residential customers.

Source: Portfolio.hu, kormany.hu

Laura T. Thrasher