Coronavirus: What are supermarkets doing to keep shelves stocked?

New Zealand supermarkets are urging customers to shop normally and to not panic-buy.

At the moment, the supply chains are doing a great job at getting food and groceries on supermarket shelves, says Countdown's, Kiri Hannifin.

"Our teams and our suppliers are working as hard as we can to get food through the network and onto the shelves. At the moment, things are going well."

But there's certainly pressure on hand sanitiser, she says.

"In fact, there's very little, if any, left."

There's also currently limits on Dettol products, she says. 

"We're actually fine for toilet paper."

She says we're very lucky in New Zealand.

"If I could get one message out…it would be that there's plenty of food to go around. New Zealand's very lucky for the fact that we feed the world."

When there is empty shelves, it's because the demand is unprecedented, she says.

The situation has been very tough on staff.

"Imagine working in a panic environment all day every day, the pressure on them is immense and unsustainable."

In Foodstuff stores, North Island CEO Chris Quin says there's no need to panic at the supermarket.

"The number one message that we'd like to share with everyone; please shop normally."

There's no need for people to provision for two or three weeks as if you need to go into self-isolation, online orders are only one or two days away from getting to your door, he says.

In order not to put extra strain on the system, he says if you don't need the delivery service, don't use it.

"But also, there's a wonderful community opportunity here [to pick up groceries for those in need]… this is one very practical way that people might be able to look out for each other if isolation gets wider…"

"New Zealand is in quite a different state to many of the alarming videos and stories we're seeing from other countries."

Supermarket chains all share much of the same suppliers in New Zealand, he says.

"Those suppliers are doing a very good job to keep us in a good shape."

Both Foodstuff and Countdown are focused on keeping their shelves stocked with the products that people need as they need them, they say.