Kaufland: cooking oil back on the shelf: the price shocks Twitter users

  • Jason Blaschke

    VonJason Blaschke

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If you want to buy cooking oil, you can get it back in many branches in Kaufland. 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 having huge consequences for consumers in Germany as well. In addition to energy and fuel prices, it is above all food that consumers have to pay a lot more for. Just a few weeks ago, the two discounters Aldi and Lidl corrected their prices upwards, causing heated discussions on social networks.

“All just a rip off,” wrote one user on Facebook in response to the skyrocketing prices of many everyday essential groceries in retail. Especially all products imported into Germany from Russia or Ukraine are the hardest hit. Of exemplary importance here is the scarce and expensive edible oil, which makes headlines repeatedly.

Kaufland cooking oil makes headlines: the price tag scares customers

When it became known that Lidl was rationing some everyday foods even more after demand had increased significantly, research by BW24 revealed that, in addition to flour, cooking oil was also subject to restrictions on the quantity sold. However, availability is likely to take a back seat for some customers when they discover the new price on the cooking oil shelf in Kaufland.

agency Kaufland
direction Neckarsulm
Sales volume 21 billion euros (2019)
foundation 1984, Neckarsulm
number of employees 139,000 (October 2021)

First under 2 euros, today almost 5 euros per bottle – “Kaufland cares”

There are probably enough bottles in different branches again, but they literally have their price. “In Kaufland there is sunflower oil again,” tweeted one user and added: “But for five euros a bottle.” He also posted a photo showing a shelf overflowing with cooking oil. But if you want one or more of the coveted bottles, you have to spend exactly 4.99 euros. There is a liter of sunflower oil in organic quality.

Several Twitter users can’t believe it. “Kaufland also rips off people wherever possible,” writes one angry user, as reported by BW24. The message is clear: “If you had accumulated in time, you shouldn’t 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 for cooking oil are advertised: offers that require 50 euros per liter are not uncommon.

Incidentally, Kaufland is not an isolated case. According to HEIDELBERG24, Aldi also sells sunflower oil for 4.99 euros per liter. To make a comparison: that’s a good 3.20 euros more than the last cost of the Aldi brand (“Bellasan”, 1.79 euros). Other retailers also have comparable offers that tend to move towards five euros rather than back below two euros.

The price of cooking oil not only upsets consumers, but the economy is also concerned

Fortunately, there are many good alternatives to sunflower oil that are suitable for both deep-frying and deep-frying. But even here the problem is that prices are rising, something that is particularly felt by restaurateurs. In an interview with BW24, a spokesperson for DEHOGA Baden-Württemberg said the pressure on costs in the restaurant business was causing huge problems. When asked, a restaurant manager said he feared his guests would no longer come.

And the producers of fries and chips are also sounding the alarm in view of the price of cooking oil. In a statement, their association warns of impending supply bottlenecks if the situation does not change. As for Ukraine, however, this will not be the case, at least in the foreseeable future. A chart from the Association of the Oilseed Processing Industry in Germany (OVID) shows how important the country is for exports of cooking oil to Germany.

Cooking oil is suddenly much more expensive in Germany – this is why

51 percent of the demand for sunflower oil alone is covered by products from Ukraine and 27 percent from Russia – Germany only covers six percent of the required quantities per year from its own agriculture. Before the war began, doing business with Russia and Ukraine was a profitable business. In the branches of Kaufland, Lidl and Co., a liter costs less than two euros for a long time. Both Ukraine and Russia were low-cost import countries.

Consumers in Germany are footing the bill for this today. As with oil or gas, it is difficult to switch sources of supply overnight. Customers are seeing the effects on the price tag – and possibly other products in the future as well. Just a few weeks ago it became known that the next staple food could become scarce and, consequently, more expensive. According to HEIDELBERG24, the discounter Aldi is already warning the hoarders.

Rubriklistenbild: © epa efe Gustavo Cuevas / dpa

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