Many of the UK’s biggest brands have been hit by shortages on supermarket shelves over recent months amid the shortage of hauliers and other supply chain challenges

Ongoing supply issues risk driving shoppers away from their favourite brands and damaging brand loyalty, new research suggests.

A survey of 1,000 UK adults found almost three-quarters of respondents (74%) would cut ties with their favourite brands permanently if delays and availability issues continued. 

The study found nine out of 10 shoppers felt supply chain issues were “here to stay” yet only 38% primarily blamed the pandemic. Eighty-five per cent said they would rather switch brands than wait for their favourites to arrive.

Many of the UK’s biggest brands such as WalkersDiet Coke and Lucozade have been hit by shortages on supermarket shelves over recent months amid the shortage of hauliers and other supply chain challenges – in the case of Walkers, for instance, its owner PepsiCo suffered disruption after an IT upgrade. 

Brands “need to be able to provide a consistent and transparent service to customers or risk losing them, with some consumers willing to sacrifice the product quality for ease of delivery”, said Emma Sutton, chief customer officer EMEA consulting and business transformation at Oracle, which compiled the research.

Brand Relations MD Richard Horwell suggested younger shoppers would be more likely to ditch brands than older consumers. “Younger millennial and gen Z are very much new adopters. The older we get the more set in our ways we are, so they will drop regular brands in a heartbeat for something new but similar.

“We find they are great consumers to market new brands to but there is little or no loyalty as they are always looking for something new or better, so yes to young, probably no to the older market.”

Shortages have not been limited to fmcg brands, and are hitting the fresh aisles too – last week The Grocer revealed shoppers could face a shortage of geese on top of already-predicted shortages of turkey.

It comes as another survey this week found shoppers were unwilling to pay more for more sustainable products despite industry-wide efforts to boost the green credentials of their ranges.

The poll of 3,000, by Asda, found 55% of shoppers were prepared to make significant lifestyle changes to reduce their carbon footprint, but highlighted price as the biggest deterrent to greener choices in supermarkets.