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What Does 'Panic Buying' Mean?

(Last Updated: 21 July 2022)

Panic buying refers to a situation in which many people suddenly buy large quantities of everyday items such as food and fuel because they are worried that there is not enough of them available.

e.g. Anxiety over a rumoured citywide lockdown has led to panic buying and empty shelves in stores.

Examples from the Media

The panic buying seen in the past few weeks as people rush to stock up on essentials during the coronavirus outbreak caught Hong Kong by surprise. —South China Morning Post

There is plenty of food to go round, which means there is no need for panic buying. —The Guardian 

Reams of shoppers have been flocking to grocery stores across the Greater Toronto Area and throughout Canada, a phenomenon widely referred to as "panic buying." Toronto Star

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