“Nowhere, except us, is there a shortage” – supermarket customers are surprised by bottlenecks in Germany

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Von: Magdalene of Zumbusch


Shelves filled with sunflower oil in Croatia.
Shelves filled with sunflower oil in Croatia. © Facebook / Mike Blume

Sunflower oil and some other products are hard to find in German supermarkets, while European neighbors have everything “in abundance”. “Because?” asks a Facebook user.

Munich – On Facebook, a user expresses his anger at the shortage of food in supermarkets. Hamsters can’t be the only reason for current bottlenecks, he says and asks for an explanation.

“NO other place where there is a shortage,” says a Facebook user

A Facebook user posts a photo of a pallet full of sunflower oil, which he says comes from a Swedish supermarket. He claims: He constantly receives photos of acquaintances from other European countries and nowhere else except in Germany are the food shortages that were anticipated ahead of the war in Ukraine and are now making themselves felt.

“Denmark, Holland, France, Spain, Poland, almost everywhere except us, this situation is different, sunflowers and rapeseed oil in abundance,” he says in his conversation with his other user. And what makes him suspicious is that the sunflower oil sold in the Swedish supermarket is German. The photo shows that it is the Brölio brand.

Isn’t shopping for hamsters the only reason for shortage in the supermarket ?: “What’s going on here?”

In the six weeks since the start of the war, in the approximately six different supermarkets he visits regularly, “he has never seen even a liter of sunflower oil”, the Facebook user describes the situation in German supermarkets under his post – a little exaggerated – “What’s going on here?” he asks the group. “Maybe the Germans are the only ones stupid enough to pour it into their old diesel?” says another user. And he has another tip: They are just hamster buyers.

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Professional hamster buyers would buy “by the container from suppliers”.

However, one could object to the explanation that in Germany there is simply more hoarding than in other countries (corresponding to the cliché of precautionary and forward-looking German) that supermarkets almost always ration them. In any case, the coveted food groups can only be purchased in very limited quantities, says the questioner who posted the photo.

This is addressed: “Real big hamster shoppers don’t buy at the supermarket. More like containers from suppliers who pay a little more than what supermarket chains offer. That means they get fewer goods than usual. You can buy a lot of oil. of sunflower on the Internet, “says the user providing the attempted explanation.

But even this answer does not really satisfy the questioner: only merchants can actually buy “off the pallet”. And suppliers have at least medium-term supply contracts, which means they can’t just sell something to someone else, ”she says.

Ultimately, the question remains open: the situation is probably not as dramatic as it is portrayed. Although at the moment in Germany one rarely sees shelves filled with sunflower oil as shown in the photo (according to the comment of a Croatian supermarket), one hardly ever hears of weeks of fruitless searches for oil.

It seems possible that Germans have a slightly stronger tendency to hoard than their European neighbors and that sales rules are not as effective as desired – control is probably difficult too, especially in currently often overcrowded supermarkets. The answer to German oil in Sweden has so far remained unanswered on Facebook: the fact that Germany is also a large exporter of food and that the goods are simply imported from Germany seems obvious.

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