It comes as the war in Ukraine has sparked a huge shortage in sunflower oil globally. Ukraine is the main producer of the UK’s sunflower oil and, amid the horrific war in the country a huge shortage has been recorded. Shortages in sunflower oil lead to increased demand for substitutes, therefore creating shortages in all cooking oil products and driving the prices higher.
Starting yesterday, Friday, April 8, Waitrose only allows each customer to buy up to two bottles of any cooking oil, in order to control the shortage.
This includes sunflower oil, olive oil, rapeseed oil, and other products.
A statement from Waitrose read: “We want to ensure customers continue to have a choice of cooking oil so we are asking them to buy no more than two units each.”
Restrictions are also in place for online shopping.
A message on the retailer’s website reads: “To help more customers get the goods they need you can only order two from the category.”
The same restrictions are put in place by Morrisons, which only allows for two bottles of any cooking oil to be bought by a consumer at once.
The restriction is also applied on the supermarket’s website during online shopping.
A message reads “Maximum quantity exceeded” if a customer tries to order more than two items of the category.
Other supermarket chains are yet to ration any products, however, availability had dropped significantly.
Several products by the Tesco brand are out of stock on the retailer’s online shopping website.
Unavailable products include sunflower oil and vegetable oil.
Other retailers including Sainsbury’s and Co-op have also admitted shortages.
In a statement, Sainsbury’s said: “It has been widely reported that the conflict in Ukraine is affecting a number of supply chains, including sunflower oil.
“We are working closely with our suppliers to make sure customers continue to have cooking oils to choose from, including olive oil, vegetable oil, and rapeseed oil.”
The supermarket chain added: “In products where sunflower oil is a main ingredient, we will be substituting this with alternatives and making customers aware of these changes in store and online.”
Co-op has also said that it is working with suppliers to find alternatives such as rapeseed oil, the Telegraph reported.
The war in Ukraine has caused a major disruption in the global supply chain of sunflower oil leading the prices of all cooking oil to soar worldwide.
Ukraine produces 46% of the world’s sunflower seed and safflower oil trade, according to USDA data.
Supply chain disruptions also come from Russia, since the country has the second-largest share in the market, accounting for 23 percent of the world market.
At the same time, the Food Standards Agency stated on March 24 that some food products labeled as containing sunflower oil may instead contain refined rapeseed oil.