The lure of long life
Sometimes, long-life UHT or ESL milk can be seen as the ‘left on the shelf’ type of milk product, especially here in the UK. People don’t drink it much, except when they go camping, or when they’ve run out of fresh and have to rummage in the cupboard for their half-forgotten package of semi-skimmed. That being said, it has a large following in other countries, which enjoy its superior shelf life and taste qualities.
However, I looked at the aisle in one British supermarket last week and saw that the long-life milk section was empty. The fresh milk segment also looked like people had been buying in quantity. The dairy alternatives looked a bit lost without their milk counterparts on the shelf beside them, actually. (The photo with this log is of a Sainsbury’s long life milk shelf in earlier times.)
This is all down to the coronavirus, it seems. People are panic buying toilet paper and long-life milk, not to mention antiseptic gels. I suspect this will go some way before it is over, but I would also venture that if you don’t have underlying health conditions, you may hopefully escape the worst of it. I am not a medical professional, however.
You also probably know more people than you would think who have such conditions. We have at least three people who we are putting off seeing until this episode calms down. We are mailing them books and biscuits instead. They can get their fill of the latest Hilary Mantel book and enjoy some comforting cookies.
I thought it rather interesting that people turn to comfort foods when there is a possibility that they won’t get to the shops, so the rice and almond drinks get left on the shelf while consumers opt for dairy instead. And dairy is considered a key comfort food. Plus, there’s nothing better than some milky hot cocoa and some ginger nuts, if you’re not feeling like going out and facing the world at large, IMHO.