Supermarkets across the UK have placed limits on how much cooking oil that customers can buy due to supply-chain problems caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Most of the UK’s sunflower oil comes from Ukraine, which has resulted in restrictions applying to that product as well as olive and rapeseed oils at some supermarkets.
Tesco said it is allowing three items per customer, while Waitrose and Morrisons have placed limits of just two items each.
Morrisons confirmed to Sky News that it has “introduced a max cap of two bottles per customer on sunflower oil”.
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.”
Waitrose added it was “closely monitoring the situation and working with our suppliers to ensure customers continue to have a choice of cooking oils”.
Meanwhile, a Sainsbury’s spokesperson said they have no plans to introduce limits, while Asda has not taken any action yet.
Richard Walker, managing director of Iceland supermarkets, said the company was rationing sunflower oil sales to one bottle per customer.
The British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) Tom Holder said the move was a temporary measure “to ensure availability for everyone”.
Speaking to Sky News, he said: “The war in Ukraine has disrupted supplies of sunflower oil to the UK.
“Some retailers have introduced limits on the number of bottles customers can buy as a temporary measure to ensure availability for everyone.
“Where sunflower oil exists as an ingredient in products, retailers will be substituting it with other safe oils, such as rapeseed oil.
“Retailers are also working with suppliers to ramp up production of alternative cooking oils, to minimise the impact on consumers.”
The price of cooking oils and fats went up 7% and is nearly a quarter more expensive than a year ago, the Office for National Statistics said earlier this month.
The Ukraine war is also threatening the food supply and livelihoods of people in Europe, Africa and Asia who rely on the vast, fertile farmlands of the Black Sea region known as the “breadbasket of the world”.