Rapeseed oil ‘twice as expensive’ and set to drive up food prices

Suppliers’ scrambling to replace sunflower oil in their recipes risks sending prices of oil alternatives even higher – especially rapeseed oil, the industry warns.

Because Ukraine and Russia account for a large portion of the world’s sunflower oil production, suppliers immediately transferred towards alternatives including rapeseed and vegetable oil.

“Market forces have come into play and prices have skyrocketed. All seed and vegetable oils are now in tight supply. The price is whatever a buyer is prepared to pay,” one senior supplier said to The Grocer.

Brown Bag Crisp’s director Phil Lamb said his manufacturer was set to run out of sunflower oil this month and has started stocking rapeseed oil as a ‘temporary alternative’.

READ MORE: Iceland reverses palm oil ban following Ukraine war

However, lamp reported that rapeseed oil was “twice as expensive”.

While the switchover should not affect the taste or shelf-life of Brown Bag’s products, he said “we’ll have to put prices up” to make up for the additional costs.

On either hand, Perkier – an independent healthy snacks business – said the company would switch from using sunflower oil to the “more expensive” rapeseed oil in its snack bars but stressed this would “not lead to a price increase for Perkier as it is a small proportion of our ingredients”.

Another supplier source told The Grocer their trials in rapeseed oil led to a “fishy” taste compared with sunflower.

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