Fears grow over empty shelves crisis as Tesco and Sainsburys run out of pasta

Shoppers have been warned against another panic-buying crisis after empty spaces appeared in pasta sections of supermarkets across the UK.

Pictures of the bare shelves emerged last night in Sainsbury’s stores in Birmingham and Surrey, and Tesco stores in Edinburgh and Bristol.

In one Tesco store, a sign could be found suggesting that the Italian favourite could be out for a while, reading: "Sorry, out of stock. Next delivery expected Sunday, 17th October."

Food experts say the problems have likely come from a 'double whammy' of a poor wheat harvest and the ongoing crisis in lorry driver numbers, writes The Mirror.

The price of wheat went up by about 90% this summer after a drought and soaring temperatures disrupted supplier farms in Canada.

Wheat farms across the Atlantic are responsible for producing much of the durum wheat that is ground into semolina to make spaghetti, penne, and macaroni once it arrives in the UK.

Back in Europe meanwhile, heavy rainfall has made some wheat crops unsuitable for harvest.

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Jason Bull, director of ingredient experts Eurostar Commodities, said that the bad harvest might be proof that climate change is taking a hit on the pockets of British consumers, saying:

"We should be under no illusion climate change is causing this. It’s crazy. I’ve been doing this for 17 years, but I’ve not seen this before."

“It’s because of the durum crop – pasta is made with durum wheat and the biggest exporter is Canada."

“The cost price on durum has shot about by about 90-100 percent which feeds into an increase cost of raw materials."

A spokesperson from Tesco rejected the idea that pasta shortages were widespread and reassured customers that there was still good availability in most shops.

Pasta is just one of many family favourites to disappear from the menu in recent weeks. Yesterday, the national baker Greggs warned that the cost of pasties could soon rise, as bakers were hit by a supply chain crisis, made worse by the rising cost of ingredients.

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