Germans warned against stockpiling and panic buying

Kira Nerys / WikiPedia

Germany’s Agriculture Minister urged consumers to avoid stockpiling, as coronavirus infections have risen and with it, anxiety levels about possible lockdowns. Her comments come as large supermarket chains such as Aldi and Edeka reported a sharp rising demand for certain products, a pattern similar to what happened in March in the lead-up to lockdown measures being imposed.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 4,325 to 366,299, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday. The reported death toll rose by 12 to 9,789, the tally showed.

In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, Klöckner tried to assuage fears by reminding Germans that the pandemic did not affect or endanger the food supply chain. The disruptions, instead, are brought on by consumer activity. 

The agriculture minister spoke specifically about hamsterkauf, a German term that defines panic buying and became one of the symbols of the pandemic lockdown experience in Germany.

“Whoever is hoarding is not only acting illogically, but lacking solidarity. And in the end, many of these goods end up in the garbage can,” Klöckner said.