UAE-headquartered Truebell, a leading GCC importer of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) has outlined the importance of responsible shopping across the country - reducing the need for panic buying, stockpiling and in some cases hoarding.
Following images from around the world including the US and the UK, where hundreds of shoppers are queuing outside supermarkets daily, as a result of panic buying leading to perceived scarcity, Truebell says the UAE has ample stock to deal with any situation that may arise over the coming weeks.
“We are very lucky in the UAE, our supermarkets, hypermarkets and distribution centres are well-equipped and stocked with all the essentials required and each of these outlets have full confidence in their supply chain as they continue to cater to increased consumer demand,” said Truebell Divisional Manager, Retail & Food Service, Bhushant J. Gandhi.
Under the current social restrictions that are in place across the country, Truebell has outlined four key points for consumers to bear in mind when doing their next food shop.
Patience is key. Retailers across the UAE, and indeed the wider food industry supply chain, have plenty stock of the essentials, everyday groceries and other FMCG products including sanitisers and anti-bacterial wipes.
If your local supermarket has run out of a particular item or indeed brand that you want, it may be that the store just needs a little more time, to restock their shelves. In this situation, the best thing to do is look for a short-term replacement, be patient and revisit in a day or two or have a look online.
Avoid the temptation to stockpile
When there is a surge in overbuying, it consequently results in food going bad and being thrown out unopened. That’s such a waste.
While many families may have increased their normal grocery shop, with some shopping for the week or two weeks ahead to limit trips made to their local supermarket, it’s important to avoid stockpiling and in all cases, hoarding.
Gandhi, said: “Anticipating what you plan to cook for the week or two ahead will help you work out how much and which items you might need, enabling you to shop responsibly, limiting waste and avoiding overbuying. Remember, you can always freeze what you don’t eat and use it for another meal later in the week.”
Best supermarket buys
For those looking to limit their supermarket trips over the coming weeks, there are plenty of items to choose from that will stay within their expiry date for a week or longer and don’t require refrigeration.
Non-perishable items to look out for on your next shopping trip, that are also highly nutritious, include dried and canned beans, unsalted canned vegetables, wholegrain pasta and rice, peanut butter, cereals and soya and almond milks.
“Think sensibly and logically about how much of each product you are likely to use within the coming weeks and shop based on this quantity. Now is a good time to clear out your food cupboards or pantry and use up the long-lasting products that may have been sitting for a while before venturing to your local store to stock up again,” said Gandhi.
Social distancing – wearing masks and gloves
In the current situation, everyone should be socially aware of the precautions that we all need to take when going to public places, including grocery stores. First and foremost and if you are a resident of Dubai, make sure that you have applied for a ‘movement permit’ from Dubai Police, via this link. Once approved, before venturing out, make sure you have a face mask and gloves to hand and where possible, try to shop alone.
While out for essentials, always stay at least two metres away from all other members of the public, during your journey to and from shops as well as when inside them. While queueing, if someone is standing to close, politely ask them to maintain a safe distance.
The practice of good hygiene is more important now than ever before. Always thoroughly wash your hands before and after any intended trip outside. Make sure you have a good quality and well-fitting mask and gloves which allow a snug fit with no gaping holes at the side.
And finally, while out, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth until you have removed and disposed of all face masks and gloves and thoroughly washed your hands.
Earlier this month, the retail arm of Truebell’s food and retail division launched a variety of new products under the home and personal care category, including Green Cross zero-sting hand sanitisers for children which are 99.9% effective against bacteria and viruses as well as a range of handwash, bodywash, soaps and baby wipes from leading brands Savlon and WaterWipes.
Gandhi, concluded: “With the global market for hand sanitisers predicted to reach US$5.5 billion by 2024 and in light of the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we are working closely with both suppliers and retailers to ensure a constant supply of these key products at a time when demand is high due to enhanced hygiene measures and continuous hand sanitising to combat the spread of the virus.”