The Centre for Economic and Business Research has warned that the price of lettuce could rise by at least 5% in the coming months due to adverse growing conditions earlier in the season. The CEBR say the price rise could also affect other top meal-time favourites such as celery and cress.
Food experts say fears of a lettuce shortage could lead to shoppers stock piling their favourite brand of green leaf with Cos and Romaine hearts already disappearing from the shelves. Supermarkets have warned customers they may be forced to introduce quotas, restricting shoppers to just two lettuce and one tub of cress per person per day.
The warning has already created panic amongst the lettuce loving community with reports of intimidation and violence in the shopping aisles. Ugly scenes were reported at a Waitrose branch in Farnham where shoppers were seen filling shopping trollies with chicory, radish and baby spinach shoots while others fought over the last remaining pack of rocket.
Arrests were also made outside Sainsbury’s in Cobham after a gang attacked a man loading some radishes into the back of his car. Police are concerned that this may just be the start of shopper unrest as the full effects of a lettuce shortage may not be felt for another 18 months.
There are fears that unhappy salad lovers could add further problems to an already overstretched police force.
‘We have Brexit protest marches in the pipeline, political unrest, we have jihadis coming back from the war in Syria, we have criminal gangs flying in from South America targeting wealthy homeowners’, said one worried superintendent. ‘And now to top it all we have a shortage of salad dressings.
‘People are simply not going to stand by and watch as supermarkets add an extra 5p on a lettuce. It won’t go down well…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg’.