The early stages of the coronavirus pandemic led to a string of shortages in the shops as people rushed to stock up on essentials such as pasta, toilet paper and hand sanitiser.
Another item which proved hard to get as lockdown took hold was flour, as people turned to baking as a way to pass the time at home and supply outstripped demand.
With most items now returned to normal stock levels in supermarkets, flour still appears to be in short supply.
Just why is there still a shortage?
Why is there still a shortage of flour?
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The shortage isn’t down to the fact that there is no flour in the UK – it’s more about distributing it out to customers.
While there is certainly enough flour to go around, it’s the size in which the bags are sold which has contributed to the problem – with the amount of bags being produced still not enough to meet demand despite manufacturers increasing bag sizes and working hours.
Alec Waugh of the National Association of British and Irish Millers (Nabim) told the Telegraph: ‘Millers have increased the amount they can pack in retail sized bags to the maximum, and they are running packing lines 24/7, so they have doubled their normal production to four million bags a week.
‘But they can’t do more than 24 hours a day, seven days a week,’ he explained, saying that it was still flying off the shelves. ‘Supermarkets are saying that if they put it out first thing it’s gone by lunchtime, and then they have to wait for the next delivery.’
With flour flying off the shelves, Nabim has taken it upon themselves to help consumers with its online map, showing where people can buy commercial-sized bags of flour – from 4kg bags to 32kg sacks of the stuff.
Users can search the map by postcode to see where they might be able to get hold of flour in their area, as well as who is offering delivery services of flour.
Meanwhile other high street stores are also taking the initiative, with Morrisons now selling flour from its in-store bakery sections to customers, by transferring it from their larger bakery sacks into smaller ones.
A 1kg bag of self-raising, plain or wholemeal bread flour costs 60p, or you can buy a larger 16kg bag for £9.
If all else fails, you could always try making your own at home from some of the many methods on offer.
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