If you want to buy cooking oil, you can pick it up at many Kaufland branches. For a single bottle, however, customers have to dig deeper into their pockets.
For weeks, people have been noticing in their wallets that the war in Ukraine is also having massive consequences for consumers in Germany. In addition to energy and fuel prices, it is above all foodstuffs that consumers have to pay significantly more. Just a few weeks ago, the two discounters Aldi and Lidl corrected their prices upwards, which sparked heated debates on social networks.
“It’s all a scam,” wrote one Facebook user in response to soaring prices for many daily essential groceries at retail. Above all, all products imported into Germany from Russia or Ukraine are the most affected. The rare and expensive edible oil, which repeatedly makes headlines, is of exemplary importance here.
Kaufland cooking oil hits the headlines: price scares off customers
When it became known that Lidl was rationing certain everyday foods even more after a surge in demand, research by BW24 found that in addition to flour, cooking oil was also affected by restrictions on the quantity sold. However, availability is likely to take a back seat to some customers when they see the new price on the shelf for cooking oil at Kaufland.
|the head office||Neckarsulm|
|Sales volume||€21 billion (2019)|
|number of employees||139,000 (October 2021)|
Before less than 2 euros, today almost 5 euros a bottle – “Kaufland scam”
There are probably still enough bottles in several branches, but they literally have their price. “In Kaufland there is still sunflower oil”, tweets a user and adds: “But for five euros a bottle.” He also posts a photo showing an overflowing shelf of cooking oil. But if you want one or more of the coveted bottles, you have to pay exactly 4.99 euros. There is one liter of sunflower oil in organic quality.
Many Twitter users can’t believe it. “Kaufland also scams people whenever possible,” writes one angry user, as BW24 reports. The message is clear: “If you had hoarded in time, you would not have to pay six times the price now”. The coveted product is at least even cheaper on the Kaufland shelf than on Ebay, where absurd prices are announced for cooking oil – offers that ask for 50 euros per liter are not uncommon.
— deBaer@chaos.social (@deBaer) April 20, 2022
Moreover, Kaufland is not an isolated case. According to information from HEIDELBERG24, Aldi also sells sunflower oil at 4.99 euros per litre. For comparison: That’s a whopping 3.20 euros more than the last cost of Aldi’s own brand (“Bellasan”, 1.79 euros). Other brands also offer comparable offers which tend to tend towards five euros rather than returning below the two euro mark.
The price of cooking oil not only shocks consumers – the economy is also worried
Luckily, there are plenty of good alternatives to sunflower oil that are suitable for both frying and frying. But the problem, here too, is that prices are rising, which is particularly felt by restaurateurs. In an interview with BW24, a spokesperson for DEHOGA Baden-Württemberg said cost pressure in the catering industry was causing huge problems. When questioned, a restaurant manager said he was afraid that his customers would no longer come.
And French fries and french fries producers are also sounding the alarm over the price of frying oil. In a statement, their association warns of impending supply bottlenecks if the situation does not change. As far as Ukraine is concerned, however, this will not be the case in the near future, at least. A graph from the Association of the Oilseed Processing Industry in Germany (OVID) shows how important the country is for cooking oil exports to Germany.
Cooking oil is suddenly massively more expensive in Germany – that’s behind it all
51% of the demand for sunflower oil is covered by Ukrainian products alone, and 27% by Russia – Germany covers only 6% of the required quantities per year with its own agriculture. Before the start of the war, doing business with Russia and Ukraine was a lucrative business. In the branches of Kaufland, Lidl and Co., a liter has long cost less than two euros. Ukraine and Russia were cheap import countries.
Today, German consumers are footing the bill. As with oil or gas, it is difficult to change the source of supply overnight. Customers see the effects on the price – and in the future perhaps also on other products. Just a few weeks ago, news broke that the next staple could become scarce and, therefore, more expensive. According to HEIDELBERG24, discounter Aldi is already scolding hoarders.
List of headings: © epa efe Gustavo Cuevas/dpa