Tesco joins Waitrose and Morrisons in rationing cooking oil due to Russia-Ukraine war

Due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, supermarket giants like Tesco, Waitrose and Morrisons have introduced rationing of sunflower oil, limiting the number of bottles customers can buy

A picture taken on April 5, 2022 shows empty shelves normally found on sunflower oil at a supermarket in Paris. - With the Ukraine conflict, there are shortages of certain agricultural products such as sunflower oil. (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP) (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain previously imported most of its sunflower oil from Ukraine

Tesco joins Waitrose and Morrisons in rationing its cooking oil due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The war in Eastern Europe has choked off supplies of sunflower oil to the British food industry and pushed up the prices of popular foods further.

Most of Britain’s sunflower oil comes from Ukraine, but the war destroyed its availability as exports ground to a halt when Russian troops invaded.

Firms were desperate to source other vegetable oils, with the price of oil in stores reportedly some 20 percent higher than a year ago.

In direct response, Tesco has joined other supermarket giants in imposing restrictions on what customers can shop for.

Shoppers can only purchase three bottles per person across the entire cooking oil range.

The war has pushed up the prices of popular items like crisps and chips due to sunflower oil shortages


AFP via Getty Images)

The UK’s largest retailer has said it has good cooking oil availability, but a small number of vegetable oils are not stocked on its website.

The move follows in the footsteps of Waitrose and Morrisons, who have already limited cooking oils to two per person.

Waitrose said it was “monitoring the situation closely and working with our suppliers to ensure customers continue to have a choice of cooking oils”.

Tesco followed in the footsteps of other supermarket giants in rationing sunflower oil



As well as being a staple food, sunflower oil is found in hundreds of products such as cookies, chips, mayonnaise and ready meals.

Tom Lock, founder of The British Snack Company, which makes hand-cooked crisps for sale in pubs, told the Guardian that alongside potatoes, sunflower oil was the other key ingredient.

He told the newspaper it was the “industry standard” for snack foods and explained that the company had been forced to switch to canola oil.

He said it was “impossible to get sunflower oil in any quantity” at the moment, adding that this would inevitably push up prices.

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