Panic buyers have started stocking up on Christmas puddings as a flour shortage threatens supplies of the festive favourite.
Households are snapping up the traditional treat, amid fears of empty shelves due to a lack of key ingredients amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Production of Christmas puddings has been hit by the worst harvest for 40 years, in addition to a shortage of nuts and fruit due to labour problems caused by lockdown.
Food supplier Cartwright and Butler has reported a spike in requests for the festive dessert since the new Covid crackdown was announced by the Government.
Sonia Whiteley-Guest, brand director at the firm said: ‘It’s clear from the enquiries that we are getting that people are planning early for Christmas.
‘They want to enjoy themselves and it’s natural there will be some anxiety around availability and in-store shopping at what is the busiest time of the year.
‘We don’t know what other restrictions may be in force but everyone will want to make this Christmas a time when they forget about their worries.
‘People will find comfort in a traditional Christmas complete with all the trimmings, even if they must celebrate in smaller family groups.
‘They will want to make it the best Christmas possible and will be looking to purchase more premium products.
‘We are predicting record sales which is why we now have a team of experts hunting down ingredients, which are in short supply anyway, and setting up a process to cope with any extra demand.’
Supermarkets have urged shoppers not to panic buy and several have stepped up stocks of Christmas items such as panettone and stollen and mince pies.