Shoppers in several UK towns have complained of bare fresh produce aisles at Lidl and Sainsbury’s in the first few days of the New Year.
Customers shared images online of empty shelves in fresh produce, meat and bread aisles at certain stores on 2 January.
Sainsbury’s stores in Clapham in London, Forestside in Belfast, Melton Road in Leicester, Caine in Wiltshire and Mere Green in Birmingham were affected, Mail Online reported.
Meanwhile, Lidl stores in Hackney, Tyne and Wear, Lancashire and Bexley in London were left understocked, according to Twitter users.
The fresh produce shortages don’t appear to have been caused by growing conditions or supply issues since they were not specific to particular fruits or vegetables.
A Lidl spokesperson said the shortages in a “small number of stores” followed "the busy Christmas period and the seasonal switchover”.
"We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused and can assure our customers that our teams are working hard to maintain stock availability in those stores," she added.
A Sainsbury's spokeswoman said: ““We have over a thousand stores and each sells tens of thousands of different products.
“There were a handful of empty shelves in a tiny number of stores yesterday, which are all now fully stocked.”
Retail expert Bryan Roberts, from TCC Global, told the Evening Standard the shortages could be down to a number of factors, including stock change between seasons and staff shortages.
"Some suppliers aren't running at full capacity as there are staff shortages with people still on holiday,” he said.
"It's not until next week that things get going again, so there will be supply issues at play."