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Demand for food supplies increases ahead of snowstorm

By Suzanna Goussous - Jan 23,2016 - Last updated at Jan 23,2016

Consumers shop at a mall in Amman’s Bayader area on Saturday, in preparation for expected snowfall (Photo by Muath Freij)

AMMAN — Demand for food supplies increased over the weekend despite government assurances that there are enough supplies ahead of an expected snowstorm, according to trade sector insiders.

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply has provided shopping centres, shops and gas stations with an additional supply of products to prepare for the upcoming snowstorm, the ministry's spokesperson, Yanal Barmawi, said Saturday.

The flour supply for bakeries has been increased, since demand has risen and more bread is consumed before and during snowstorms, he said. 

“Flour in bakeries supplied by the ministry should be enough for five to seven days, and the ministry is willing to increase the quantity of the allocations."

Barmawi told The Jordan Times that the ministry signed an agreement with the Gas Stations Owners Association, JoPetrol Gas Company and the Energy Ministry to provide gas stations with more fuel and kerosene for the week.

“Everything will be available for consumers — gas, kerosene, food and other products," he said.

Inspections will still take place at shopping centres to “control the quality of products sold to customers in such circumstances”, Barmawi noted.

He urged the public not to buy more than they need during the storm, adding that stores will be open and many are close to people's houses.

“All products are in stock; there is no need to panic and buy quantities that would go straight to the trashcan after the storm,” the spokesperson said.

The director of the sales department at a local shopping centre in the capital, who preferred to remain anonymous, said demand for dairy products, meat, bread and snacks usually increases before any snowstorm.

“Consumer demand for the past few days recorded an increase and is predicted to rise today and tomorrow,” he told The Jordan Times.

He noted that such extra demand is “normal” and “isn’t only a Jordanian phenomenon”.

“Many shops in the eastern part of the US had the same crowds and were packed with customers [ahead of a snowstorm]. It is normal that customers’ demand increase since some roads would be blocked during the storm,” he said.

Saleh Salameh, a customer, said it is “not new” that the demand increases during winter in general.

He said snow usually makes people want to consume more food as they spend their time at home without a TV signal.

Grocery shopping mania ahead of storms doesn’t only happen in the Kingdom’s shopping centres; Washington DC is currently witnessing heavy snowfall, during which many social media users circulated pictures of empty shelves at shopping centres.

Many users posted pictures of their shopping carts and expressed their readiness for more snow using the hashtag #SnowStormReady.

Twitter user @WailAshshowwaf posted: “Water sold out at supermarket #DCCantHandleSnow”.

“The supermarket crush has hit the Soviet Safeway. Eggs and milk almost cleaned out. Long lines. #snowmaggedon2016”, wrote Twitter user @CahnEmily.

Several users commented on the lines packed in stores during the ongoing snowstorm in Washington.

 

@HankSilverberg wrote: “Well now this is ridiculous. Empty bread shelves? It's only #snowmaggedon2016. Not Armageddon.”

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