During the last few months, commodity price increases, rising energy costs and impact of the war in Ukraine has caused widespread disruption of supply chains, leading to out-of-stock situations on shelves in supermarkets across Western Europe. In France, Spain and the UK, for example, approximately 4% of FMCG of the products were out-of-stock on the shelf in 2022, for an average of four days, reveals data from NielsenIQ.
Dan Sutton, analytics manager, retail collaborative solutions at NielsenIQ, said: “While a 4% out of stock rate might seem small, the value in missed sales this represents is huge. The 4.4% out of stock rate in France resulted in 851 million EUR in missed sales, for example, while in the UK, this 4.0% figure represents approximately 1 billion GBP in missed sales.”
Focus on cooking oil
The heightened supply chain issues have heavily impacted cooking oil, one of the categories most significantly impacted with out of stocks. Availability issues for cooking oil have been felt right across the region, in France, Great Britain and in Spain.
Sutton said: “In France, we saw an on-shelf availability rate of 75% of cooking oil in May, meaning that cooking oil was out of stock in 25% of cases. Not only can retailers lose significant sales as a result of out of stocks, but it also results in reduced customer satisfaction and lower loyalty levels,”
The lost sales of cooking oil have already reached 18 million GBP in the UK, and 57 million EUR in France since the beginning of the year.
“Our research shows that 30% of shoppers will visit a new store when they can’t find what they’re looking for, and 70% will buy a different brand when their regular choice is out of stock.”