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As the coronavirus known as COVID-19 continues to circulate around the world and consumer fears mount, it’s putting intense pressure on supply chains, according to a new report by Nielsen.

Sales of personal and household items such as hand sanitizers and cleaners have skyrocketed in Canada.

Pandemic Pantries

Consumers around the world are actively stockpiling emergency supplies as concerns grow that the COVID-19 virus could become a worldwide pandemic. They’re also starting to think beyond emergency items, such as basic foodstuffs, including canned goods, flour, sugar and bottled water. Concerns are having a ripple effect into non-food essentials as well. In the U.S., sales of supplements, fruit snacks and first aid kits, for example, are all on the rise.

Nielsen’s initial investigation across major countries around the world has found significant spikes in the hoarding of emergency supplies is occurring in China, the U.S. and Italy, where consumers are rushing to build what are being labelled “pandemic pantries.”

Nieslen says it expects the rush to stock up to have an “almost immediate impact on supply chains for manufacturers of the most sought-after goods. Stocks of hand sanitizers and medical face masks have already dried up in some markets, with no clear indication of when supplies will be replenished.”

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