Footage of empty supermarket shelves are returning as grocers begin to experience supply chain struggles.
The surge of the Omicron variant is having major effects on supermarket providers, with Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci saying in an email to customers "this is because...[a] number of people in our supply chain [are] in isolation".
"We are experiencing COVID driven absences of 20 per cent in our distribution centres and 10 per cent in our stores," Mr Banducci said.
While as of Thursday Woolworths has not introduced buying limits, Coles has put in place temporary buying limits on meat and poultry.
This is also being felt by local supermarkets as essential stock appears to be in low supply according to Barton Grocer manager Todd Christian.
"For our meat order that came in today, there was only about 20 per cent of what we ordered," Mr Christian said.
"When I called the supplier asking where the rest of it was, he told me they were running really low and that was all we could get right now."
"We get our supply from Queensland and then the majority comes from New South Wales so I imagine it's to do with COVID."
Owner of the Barton Grocer Dominic Costanzo said the shop is also preparing for increases in demand, as more online orders were coming through from customers.
"We try not to overorder too much, because last time we stocked up we were caught out with a whole bunch of stuff that went out of date, so now we just order as we need it and go from there," Mr Costanzo said.
"Customers only briefly panic when the major supermarkets can't keep up because then they come to independent stores but it often plateaus within a couple of weeks."
Shop Rite grocery store manager Jerry Thomas also reported supply issues with poultry products and expects things to start getting low in stock due to how much Omicron is spreading.
"At this stage we haven't noticed too much of an issue, apart from poultry, the supply has been consistent," Mr Thomas said.
"The problem we find has a lot to do with getting products into the state, it could be a transport company going into isolation or a driver testing positive, which then makes things more tricky."
"I think it might get worse, it could grow in the next couple of weeks because more companies will be significantly impacted by this growing number of cases."
All shops reported the only extreme demand they were experiencing was for rapid antigen tests, which manager of Campbell IGA Frank Pelle says is the biggest strain on small grocers.
"Everyone's ringing up for the rapid tests and having trouble getting those, otherwise it's just business as usual at this point," Mr Pelle said.
"It is a little bit busier than normal but I'm not sure what to put that down to, but not panic by any stretch of the imagination."
"I think people have been through this before, so I don't think there's so much panic anymore because it's the third time round."
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