Missed your train? Caught in the rain? Long day at work? Then the British thing to do is put the kettle on and open a packet of biscuits.
Comfort food can get you through anything.
Just imagine a world, then, in which your favourite coffee brand has been priced out of the supermarkets and the Belgium chocolate has tripled in price. Sounds like a nightmare? Well, if Brexit ends in the no-deal that some political commentators are forecasting, it might be a future you will want to be ready for.
It’s time to start stockpiling.
What the Brexit minister has said
Since the beginning of the Brexit negotiations, Theresa May has been using the possibility of a no-deal Brexit as a means with which to reassure Leave ministers of her commitment to their cause and as a half-hearted attempt to threaten Brussels. Coming to terms with the fact that a no-deal will have far reaching implications for the UK, the newly appointed Brexit secretary Dominic Raab has used the last few days to start outlining his strategy for such an eventuality and his foremost recommendation seems to centre on food hoarding.
As highlighted by Ian Jack, this is because a foremost concern with a no-deal Brexit is that it will interfere with food imports and leave the UK with shortages in the shops. Currently, the EU provides the UK with around 31% of its food, and recent research by the British Retail Consortium has stated that the absence of a trade deal could push prices up by 22%. Products affected could therefore range from breakfast cereals to vegetables and could have an impact on the price of your shopping basket.
While it may be easy for Dominic Raab to just state that emergency food stockpiling will be taken care off by the food industry, however, it will not be as easy for them as it sounds. This is because the food sector is the UK’s largest manufacturing industry and its factories rely on a dependable source of multiple daily deliveries to be able to maintain their output. With only just enough space to store products as it is, manufacturers will not be able to suddenly increase production at the snap of a finger and would only be able to do so with months of contingency planning and a tonne of cash.
These empty shelves however, are not likely to require apocalyptic style hoarding.
They also do not need to be seen as a cause for concern: they can be taken as an opportunity.
the opportunity: rising prices mean its time to invest
Although the imposition of tariffs and the increasingly vulnerability of the pound are hard to celebrate with shouts of joy, the almost inevitable escalation of food prices mean that you can start making savings now if you stay ahead of the game.
From this angle, food stockpiling could be seen as a win-win situation as 1) best case scenario, you could find the value of your favourite foods increasing dramatically which you could then sell off to your neighbours for a better price while 2) worst case scenario, you might never need to go shopping for Italian biscotti again.
1. INVEST IN IMPORTED GEMS
A diverse portfolio is always a good idea when it comes to investing and the same rule applies when filling your cupboards with items from the EU.
The best approach to starting your stockpile may be to make a list of beloved European foods and to start buying in bulk those which have a long shelf life. These could include:
- Czech beer
- Onions from the Netherlands
- French potatoes
- Russian vodka
- Coconut and olive oil
As highlighted by The Independent, some food items have already seen a rise in price since the Brexit vote. For example, “the cost of a 100g jar of Nescafé Original at Sainsbury’s has gone up 40p from £2.75 to £3.15 – a 14 per cent rise” and the price of a 250g jar of Marmite has increased by 12.5%.
According to a committee of the House of Lords, the British public should also bear in mind the fact that 40% of vegetables and 37% of fruit sold in the UK comes from the EU. This suggests that it could also be worthwhile to start stockpiling tinned fruit and vegetables, especially as the UK’s favourite apples and mandarins come from Spain and France.
Should a no-deal Brexit come to pass, it is worth bearing in mind though that the wines and oils you’ve bought at today’s prices might also be worth something in the future as in a year or so’s time, you might even be able to sell off some of your tasty treasure trove for a tidy profit.
2. Buy wholesale
The most important part of stockpiling to save money is doing so affordably. Shopping around at warehouses, shopping clubs and food cooperatives will often reward you if you buy in bulk. Check out some of the best places to do that below:
Bear in mind that this does require a high minimum order of £250 so it could be worth getting together with friends to make the most of your money.
3. compare prices
Independent supermarkets can also be great places for deals and discounts and can assure you that your money is going to local produce! London based The People’s Supermarket and Manchester based Unicorn Grocery are good examples of these but it is always good to look out for others in your area.
For those who like the convenience of your local supermarkets however, if you have a few to choose from then make sure you check out MySupermarket.com where you can save up to 30% by comparing prices on your groceries!
Top tip: remember that supermarkets sometimes want to fool you into thinking that more packaging means more product and therefore better value! Compare packages for size and worth and you might find the smaller ones save you money.
Have you started a Brexit stockpile? Let us know in the comments section below!