Tesco, Morrisons and Iceland ration cooking oil after supplies hit by Ukraine war

UK supermarkets have placed limits on how much cooking oil customers can purchase due to supply-chain issues caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Big 4 grocer Tesco is amongst the four UK grocers limiting the number of oil being allowed to purchased, with Waitrose and Morrisons placing limits of just two items each, the BBC revealed.

Tesco is currently allowing three items per customer.

According to the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) Tom Holder, the move is a temporary measure “to ensure availability for everyone”.

As a result, the managing director of Iceland, Richard Walker, said the grocer was having to ration sunflower oil sales to one bottle per customer.

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“It is not as frenzied as the toilet roll panic buying from a couple of years ago, and we are managing to maintain an offer,” Walker told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“But yes, we are limiting purchases and we’ve moved into smaller packs to allow existing stocks in the market to service more customers.”

Holder continued to add that retailers were “working with suppliers to ramp up production of alternative cooking oils, to minimise the impact on consumers”.

The move follows recent statistics revealing cooking oil was one of a range of food staples to have its price increase.

The Office for National Statistics revealed, the price of cooking oils and fats went up 7% and is nearly a quarter more expensive than a year ago.

Walker added: “If you look at commodity prices, sunflower oil has gone up 1,000% in terms of the commodity cost in the market, palm oil (up) 400% and then there is things like wheat, 50%, fertiliser, 350%.

“These are all unintended consequences of the war in Ukraine that is affecting supermarkets.”

Tesco said in a statement: “We have good availability of cooking oils in stores and online. If a customer is unable to find their preferred oil, we have plenty of alternatives to choose from.

“To make sure all of our customers can continue to get what they need, we’ve introduced a temporary buying limit of three items per customer on products from our cooking oil range.”

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said they have no plans to introduce limits.

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