Morrisons begins selling flour from in-store bakery following nationwide shortage

'I went to the shops today and got flour. I felt like I'd won the lottery,' says one customer

Sarah Jones
Sunday 03 May 2020 16:14 BST
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From banana bread to gooey brownies and sourdough, many of us have turned our hands to home baking as a way to fill our time while in lockdown.

But, as most avid bakers will have come to learn, getting hold of the basic ingredients needed to make these tasty treats is not always easy.

Flour – a key baking ingredient – has been flying off the shelves in recent weeks, with rising demand leaving many shops and supermarkets struggling to keep up with demand.

As the flour industry attempts to fulfil orders for smaller bags, Morrisons has found a way to ensure its customers do not have to go without.

This week, the supermarket has responded by decanting its own bakery flour into bags to sell in store daily.

The small bags are being made up from the larger sacks used by the in-store bakeries, with customers paying 60p for a 1kg bag of plain, self-raising or white and wholemeal bread flour.

It is also selling larger 16kg bags which cost £9, and 50g bag of bakery yeast for 20p.

So far, Morrisons has sold more than 370 tonnes of flour to Britain’s bakers and more than 19,000 bags of yeast.

Andy Clarke, bakery buying manager, at Morrisons said: “Listening to customers, we know baking is important right now to keep the family busy and entertain kids during the lockdown.

“It felt like a no brainer to give customers the ingredients they need to bake at home during this very difficult time."

Customers have been praising the supermarket on social media for making their shopping easier.

“I went to the shops today and got flour and eggs. I felt like I'd won the lottery. Thanks to the @Morrisons staff for decanting flour from their sacks into paper bags. It's the little things that cheer you up,” one person wrote on Twitter.

Another added: “There's enough to go around but not in small bags. Luckily, clever #Morrisons has come up with a solution. Hope other supermarkets follow.”

Earlier this month, the National Association of British and Irish Millers (Nabim) said the industry was “working round the clock” to double production but was still struggling to meet demand.

One flour mill in Oxfordshire said it had started running a 24-hour operation for the first time in its 25-year history to help get flour to shops.

“It’s unprecedented,” Emily Munsey, who runs Wessex Mill with her father, told the BBC. “We’ve increased production about four-fold but we’re nowhere close to meeting the demand we’ve seen.”

Alex Waugh, director general of Nabim, said the problem was not being able to mill enough flour, not that the industry lacked capacity to pack the flour into smaller bags for retailers.

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