Never mind the bog rolls... here are five supermarket items I’d stockpile due to coronavirus

The good old fish finger, a freezer essential, and also great for a cheeky game of Jenga

The good old fish finger, a freezer essential, and also great for a cheeky game of Jenga - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Shoppers are panic buying and stripping supermarket aisles because of coronavirus. But Nick Richards thinks we're buying the wrong things

COVID-19. Can anyone actually say it out loud anymore without singing it to the tune of the Dexy's Midnight Runners chart-topper Come on Eileen? Not now you can't.

The advent of coronavirus has sent some rather crazy and deluded individuals among us scurrying down the aisles of the local supermarkets to stock up on certain items.

Pictures over the weekend showed empty shelves and people shoving all sorts of 'essential' products in their trolleys. Waitrose on the outskirts of Norwich sold out of toilet roll while hand sanitiser products and pasta seem to be in incredibly high demand.

I'd love to know why people are suddenly treating pasta of all things as a prized item to behold. Penne for their thoughts.

Empty toilet roll shelves in a Waitrose in Maidenhead, Berkshire over the weekend

Empty toilet roll shelves in a Waitrose in Maidenhead, Berkshire over the weekend - Credit: PA

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Tesco has almost entirely sold out of dried pasta online and has now introduced a five limit number on several items, including anti-bacterial wipes, gels, and long-life milk.

No other supermarket has resorted to rationing food, however the majority are now limiting anti-bacterial gels to two per customer - or have sold out entirely.

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Coronavirus concerns appear to have created an international rush for toilet paper. Two women have been charged after a fight broke out over toilet roll in an Australian supermarket, with a video of the altercation shared widely online.

Hand sanitiser products were also found to be selling for more than 5,000% their recommended retail price online, with bottles worth 49p selling for £24.99

One eBay listing has seen a second-hand bottle of liquid soap sell for more than £5 - despite being only three-quarters full.

I personally haven't panic shopped but if I did I don't think buying a pillowcase-sized bag of pasta and extra toilet roll would be on my list.

Instead, here are the five things I'd suggest buying if I had to stockpile at home.

Crisps: Is there anyone in this country that doesn't like crisps? The rustle of the bag, the sensation of opening them and the weird thing of looking inside the bag to chose the first crisp, but then not looking inside to eat the rest of them. They're surely the most versatile food ever, they can be eaten as a snack at anytime of the day, always taste great and us Brits consume millions of packs a day. Who doesn't remember eating crisp sandwiches as a child? Not the greatest culinary dish I'll admit, but in troubled times, crisps can also act as a sandwich filling. Any flavour apart from beef. They're just wrong.

Toothpaste: All this talk of keeping our hands clean is one thing, but as most illnesses are spread from the mouth, surely keeping that area clean is just as important, if not more so. I couldn't imagine not having toothpaste and there isn't really anything you can use in its place. Minty fresh breath or slightly grubby hands? I'd go with the first one.

Popcorn: Scores highly for the fun factor. As the owner of two young boys, there has been many an afternoon when tension in the house has been lifted by the words: 'Who'd like to make some popcorn'. The process of heating oil in a saucepan, putting the kernels in and then Daddy 'forgetting' to put the lid on keeps them amused and entertained for ages. If I had to be trapped in the house for any length of time, I wouldn't want to lose the gift that popcorn can bring.

Fish fingers: At some point in the last decade, pubs rebranded them as goujons, started putting them in sandwiches and charging a tenner for the privilege. But the good old fish finger - the ones in a cardboard box as orange as a Dutch football shirt - are a brilliant standby I wouldn't want to not have in my house. Bonus points for the fact they could be used as dominoes or a game of Jenga if you wanted extra entertainment.

Wall's Viennetta: Charged with the task of getting something for dessert the other week I thought I'd return home with that 80s classic, the Walls Viennetta. Dessert with an extra slice of irony. This once iconic pudding really is the pits - have you tried one lately? Still, these frozen rectangles of misery are as solid as concrete and if I had to isolate myself from the rest of my family I know I could use a freezer full of these as building blocks and make my own igloo next to the garden shed.

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