Supermarket chains in the UK have denied British media reports of a halloumi shortage, Phileleftheros reported on Thursday.
It said that chains such as Tesco and Sainsbury have confirmed that demand is high, but said there was no problem with supplies. The paper said that Asda has also denied the reports while M & S has reported a 26% increase in sales in the past year, but stressed that there is no shortage.
The paper added that Cyprus’ commercial attache in London has been briefed that there is no halloumi shortage.
Reports in the media the past week have cited complaints from consumers on social media that supermarkets were out of Cyprus’ special cheese. One company was even reported to be sending emergency supplies by truck to meet demand.
The media attention has highlighted the popularity of halloumi abroad and particularly in the UK which is Cyprus’ biggest export market.
In 2017, Cyprus exported €156m of halloumi, a 20% increase from €130m in 2016.
The UK accounts for 45% or €67.8m of these exports. In 2017, it imported 23,430 tons of halloumi, up from 19,497 tons in 2016. The first quarter of 2018 saw a small increase compared to corresponding period in 2017.