As coronavirus cases in Germany have started to climb again, so too has the demand for toilet paper: concerns about new restrictions have led to increased demand for certain goods across the country.
When the coronavirus pandemic spread across Europe earlier this year, toilet paper went from being a normal household item to a prized commodity overnight.
As panicked customers rushed to stock up for the imminent lockdown, limits had to be introduced to ration supply and empty shelves were seen in supermarkets across the country.
Estimates by market researchers Iri suggest that the sales of toilet paper in the second week of March more than doubled compared to the same week in 2019.
Uncertainty grows along with cases
By the time summer came around and restrictions were loosened, demand eventually stabilised.
But now that infection rates in Germany are on the rise once more, it seems that fears of a second lockdown are driving customers back to the hygiene aisle for another Hamsterkauf (panic buying).
“At the moment we are noticing another slight increase in demand for certain products such as toilet paper in our stores”, a spokesman for discount Aldi Süd told German magazine WirtschaftsWoche.
Lidl too confirmed it was experiencing an increase in demand, but chains such as Rewe, dm and Kaufland have not yet noticed a change.
Many Germans have taken to Twitter to either complain or make fun of the shortages, with one joking about finding a ‘Hamster Kauf Starter Pack’ in his local supermarket, or several rolls of toilet paper and flour:
Supermarktfund: Hamsterkauf-Starter-Pack pic.twitter.com/HoOTMA45Oz
— Lars Weiler (@DC4LW) October 14, 2020