Rapeseed field

Source: Unsplash

Demand for rapeseed oil had ‘more than doubled’ as a result of the ongoing shortage of sunflower oil, an industry source told The Grocer

Rapeseed oil prices are soaring by up to 100% in the mults amid the ongoing Ukraine conflict.

Princes told The Grocer it had been “significantly impacted by inflationary pressures” after products from two of its cooking oil brands – Mazola and Crisp ‘n Dry – doubled in price in some major retailers. 

For example, Mazola Pure Rapeseed Oil 1L increased in price from £2 to £4 in Sainsbury’s on 28 May and in Asda on 31 May [Assosia, 12 w/e 6 June 2022].

Crisp ’n Dry Simply 100% Rapeseed Oil 2L rose in price from £3 to £3.30 in Asda on 15 May and was subject to a further price increase in the retailer on 31 May, rising to £6.

When approached by The Grocer, a spokesman for Princes said edible oil prices had been “significantly impacted by inflationary pressures as a result of the ongoing conflict [in Ukraine]”.

To support consumers “as much as possible at a time of high prices”, the ambient giant would “continue to explore alternate sources” and “assess alternate oils as a replacement” to rapeseed.

It would “remain in close dialogue with our customers on this issue”, the spokesman added.

Princes isn’t the only cooking supplier putting up the price of its products, however. Two KTC SKUs have been subject to price increases over recent days.

KTC Rapeseed Oil 1L was subject to a 20% price increase in Sainsbury’s, rising from £2.50 to £3 on 28 May. KTC Sunflower Oil rose in price by 87.5% in the retailer the following day – from £1.60 to £3.

KTC Edibles CCO Gary Lewis told The Grocer it had to stop supplying sunflower oil “as it’s just not available”.

Additionally, the business could not offer “old crop prices for June or July” for rapeseed oil “because it’s just not been available” since the Ukraine conflict sparked an initial round of “panic buying” among suppliers, Lewis added.

Another industry insider told The Grocer demand for rapeseed oil had “more than doubled” as a result of the ongoing shortage of sunflower oil. As a result, stocks were in “very short supply”, they said.

The Grocer has approached Sainsbury’s and Asda for comment.

It comes after food suppliers warned of inevitable price hikes earlier this year, as they scrambled to replace sunflower oil with more expensive rapeseed oil.

Many supermarkets have introduced rations on the number of cooking oil bottles customers can buy in order to manage limited stocks.