Waitrose and Morrisons have started to ration the number of cooking oil bottles customers can buy following shortages caused by the Ukraine crisis.
Waitrose has put up some signs in its stores telling shoppers they can buy a maximum of two items per person, highlighting that the war in Ukraine is causing widespread disruptions to the global supply chain.
“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,” a Waitrose spokesman said to The Grocer.
Online shoppers have also seen a similar warning when browsing the high-end supermarket’s website, which does not allow customers to add more than two items to the basket.
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“This item has not been added. To help more customers get the goods they need you can only order two from the sunflower oil category,” it reads.
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The majority of the UK’s sunflower oil comes from Ukraine and Russia. The shortages have forced some suppliers to replace sunflower oil with replacements such as vegetable or rapeseed oil.
However, the scramble for replacement products has caused a hike in prices.
“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.