Supermarket shelves are finally starting to look a little healthier after they were stripped bare in a mad rush from panicked shoppers.

But as some Australian supermarkets begin to loosen up the tight shopping restrictions, there's one item that has become the unicorn of grocery shelves – and it's not toilet paper.

Woolworths, which also owns Countdown, CEO Brad Banducci has revealed shoppers are still struggling to get hold of pasta sauce, despite the Fresh Food People flooding stores with huge amounts of stock.

People line up for groceries at Countdown in Grey Lynn, Auckland. Photo / Brett Phibbs
People line up for groceries at Countdown in Grey Lynn, Auckland. Photo / Brett Phibbs

"Pasta sauce is still in short supply, despite an extra 850,000 units this week," he said, adding that levels of pasta itself had been improving after they secured an additional 1000 pallets – that's 500,000 packs.

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Another item the supermarket giant is struggling to get back to normal is kitchen paper, Banducci said.

Some shopper have been heading to the super with head-to-toe PPE gear. Photo / Paul Taylor
Some shopper have been heading to the super with head-to-toe PPE gear. Photo / Paul Taylor

"We do still have some issues on paper towels and tissues, with sales up 60-80 per cent. That's a staggering 2.75 million rolls of paper towels and more than 1.6 million boxes of tissues a week," he explained.

"These are big numbers and we're working with our suppliers to bring in even more supply."

Hand sanitiser is still in short supply, with sales this week eclipsing the total amount normally sold in 40 weeks.

However if you've been battling through with little to no toilet paper, demand has been tapering with Woolies customers so people should be able to snag some in most stores.

"This week's sales expected to be around 15-16 million rolls," Banducci said.

"That's still 45 per cent up on last year, but with supply up 70 per cent on last year, there is increasingly more on-shelf."

The two-product limit on oats and oral care has also been lifted in addition to a longer list last week that including fresh milk, packaged meat and breakfast cereals.

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Most supermarkets in Australia and New Zealand were cleaned out of toilet paper. Photo / File
Most supermarkets in Australia and New Zealand were cleaned out of toilet paper. Photo / File

However, he pleaded with shoppers to still only buy what they need for the Easter weekend, revealing Woolworths had added "more delivery windows" for its home delivery service for vulnerable shoppers.

Last week, it was revealed panic buyers had started bulk-buying a range of new food items ahead of lockdown – packet cake mixes and cleaning items.

"Two of our highest growth categories this week have been cake mixes and household cleaning products. A lot more kids are baking and parents cleaning as we all spend more time at home," Banducci said.

Coles lifted buying restrictions on meat and fresh milk which were all affected amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Coles meat general manager Charlotte Gilbert said the supermarket had sold a staggering 5 million packets of mince in the past four weeks.

"We have worked with our dedicated farmers to pull out all the stops to increase supply and offer great value to customers at this challenging time," she said.