Week round up: 11/11/2020
As England entered the second week of Lockdown 2.0 and Wales exited their two week circuit break, stock markets globally rebounded on news that a Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine has performed well in trials, with a roll-out mooted for the end of 2020. Interestingly, stocks which have been most affected by Covid, such as British Airways, rebounded while Covid ‘winners’ such as Ocado and Zoom lost value.
Despite the continued four week lockdown in England, a return to the levels of panic buying seen in March 2020 in anticipation of the first lockdown failed to materialise despite retailer concerns. Sales of loo roll did however increase and many retailers saw a sales spike, with Kantar data finding that supermarket sales across the UK grew by 9.4% in the four weeks to 1 November. Supply chains have however been able to cope thus far.
Nevertheless, data continues to show that lockdown has impacted on citizen shopping and eating patterns. Perhaps unsurprisingly, ‘comfort foods’ and baking are proving particularly popular, with The Grocer reporting that sales of sugar increased 74% in the first week of November compared to the same week in 2019. Premier Foods, the owners of Mr. Kipling cakes and Ambrosia Custard, this week also reported that they have gained over a million new customers over the past six months, with “exceptional” demand resulting in profits for the six months to September up 50% at £47.7m.
The Co-operative, speaking this week about food trends as a result of Covid-19, predict that online is likely to continue to grow with demand for more sustainable food, frozen, and long-life also potentially here to stay.
With infections and deaths in the UK from Covid-19 continuing to increase, the Health Foundation have launched a Covid-19 impact enquiry, intended to explore how people’s experience of the pandemic has been influenced by their health and existing inequalities, and how the response to the virus impacts people’s health and health inequalities – both now and in the future. People from the poorest communities have been 50% more likely to die from Covid-19 than those from the most affluent communities, with people living with a disability 2-3 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than those without a disability.
Despite such evidence highlighting the role of pre-existing health and socio-economic inequality, there continues to be interest in the role of vitamin D for reducing the risk of Covid-19. Although the emerging evidence is thus far only suggestive, the Telegraph this week reported that Ministers are drawing up plans for four-month supplies of the vitamin to be delivered directly to care home residents in England and those deemed to be clinically extremely vulnerable.