Consumers and companies have increased their purchases and stockpiles of basic food items in preparation for anticipated 30 June protests.
Marches scheduled to take place on Sunday against Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, a year after he came to power, are raising fears regarding possible food shortages.
A trade marketing specialist at international food and beverages company Nestle, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Daily News Egypt that the company had taken measures to prepare for upcoming events.
“The company closes the sales channel to outlets at the end of each month, however, this month the closing sales date was forwarded to 27 Juneinstead,” the source said. “The company has also been requested by outlets and hypermarkets to provide extra stocks”
The source stated that the number of shoppers have increased significantly while on an official market visit.
Sarah Selim, a 27-year-old employee at an advertising agency, has stocked up on enough food and water for two weeks.
“I don’t know if the outcome will be the same as that of the 2011 revolution, but I can’t risk not having any food for my family, it’s too risky,” she said.
Selim said she purchased basic food supplies that her family would need in the next two weeks, including fuul, bread, rice and vegetables.
Cab driver Atef Sayed, who resides in Boulaq, said he could only afford to purchase enough water and bread for a week.
“It is really difficult for me to do something like that given my limited salary,” he said. “I still have rent to pay at the end of the month and other bills to consider, so how am I supposed to stock on food? It’s too hard.”
An employee at international hypermarket Carrefour, who requested to remain anonymous, said: “90% of the food suppliers announced that they will not be supplying products after 27 June.”
“Companies such as P&G, Nestle and Doha rice sent e-mails mentioning that the latest orders for products must be placed between 25 and 27 June,” he elaborated.
The store had ordered more stock than usual, “almost triple the amount,” he said.
Planned demonstrations are affecting the purchasing habits of consumers, he said. “The social classes that purchase their food supply from Carrefour vary. The [lower] classes are buying in excess because of the promotions we are currently offering, whereas the higher social groups are buying mainly for security purposes,” he said.
Chairman of Chamber Food Industries Mahmoud Shoukry said heavy consumption is a normal reaction towards the upcoming events.
“We expect a high demand on rice, water and bread,” said Shoukry.
Earlier this year, the supply ministry implemented a number of measures to provide the market with sufficient essential consumer goods by increasing the supply of subsidised commodities, namely oil, rice and sugar.
The ministry has also taken measures to control market prices, including developing plans to prevent price manipulation, to ensure consumers can purchase their food needs.