Supermarkets limit hand sanitiser to 'two per customer'

A sign at Pak'nSave Royal Oak limits hand sanitiser to two per customer.
A sign at Pak'nSave Royal Oak limits hand sanitiser to two per customer. Photo credit: Supplied.

Kiwis' concerns for hygiene following the Coronavirus outbreak is forcing supermarkets to crack down on people stocking up on hand sanitiser.

On Thursday, a sign in the personal care aisle at Pak'nSave Royal Oak limited purchase of all hand sanitiser to '2 units per customer'.

Antoinette Laird, Head of Corporate Affairs at Foodstuffs, confirmed that following the Coronavirus outbreak, demand for hand sanitiser had significantly increased around the world, resulting in depletion of stocks across some stores.

"Volumes are limited due to international demand.

"We’re working closely with vendors to secure as much stock as possible," Laird said.

In addition to hand sanitiser, supermarkets owned by Foodstuffs, including Pak'nSave and New World are running low on other antibacterial products, including hand wash, antiseptic liquid, face masks, bleach and antibacterial wipes.

"If a customer's local store is sold out of the antibacterial products they are looking for, we ask for patience as we secure more stock and get it on store shelves," Laird added. 

Similarly, Countdown confirmed that the limit of two per customer applies at all of their stores.

"We're working with our suppliers to manage demand as best we can," a Countdown spokesperson confirmed.

The Countdown online shopping website reports that "hand sanitiser products are not currently available online" and an online search for Pak'nSave showed zero results.

The Countdown online shopping website shows that hand sanitiser is out of stock online.
The Countdown online shopping website shows that hand sanitiser is out of stock online. Photo credit: Supplied.

Friday's cheapest price for antibacterial hand wash at Pak'nSave online is the Palmolive and Dettol antibacterial liquid hand wash - 250ml for $1.99, while the lowest price online at Countdown is the Balnea Hand Wash Antibacterial - 250ml for $1.50. 

As supermarkets work to replenish stocks of hand sanitiser and other antibacterial products, the World Health Organisation advises people to wash their hands frequently with soap and water. 

Coronavirus information and updates are available on the Ministry of Health website.

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