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Supermarkets ration oils and flour

Four big supermarket chains in Belgium are now rationing certain products.  Colruyt, Lidl, Aldi and Carrefour all say that there are currently no shortages but that consumers are buying more and are anticipating shortages caused by the war in Ukraine.

Ukraine and Russia are among the world’s largest producers of wheat and sunflower oil.  The supermarkets have noticed that some consumers are starting to hoard certain products. 

At Aldi stores shoppers are limited to three oil and flour items each.

Aldi says its suppliers can keep step with demand but that it’s experiencing logistic issues – in other words it can’t get the products into the stores quickly enough.

At Carrefour store managers are in charge and can decide on restrictions.

“A number of consumers have changed their buying patterns as a result of reports in the media.  We have noticed increased demand for some products” the chain says.

At Colruyt there are restrictions on the purchase of flour and oil at all stores.  The restrictions affect sunflower oil as well as possible replacements like vegetable oil and olive oil. Customers are limited to two bottles of oil and two packs of flour. The restriction applies in Colruyts and Okays but not in Spars or Bio-Planets!

Colruyt says there is no shortage but customers have changed their behaviour.  The restrictions are introduced to keep shelves stocked and ensure products are available for all. 

At Lidl oils and jarred or tinned vegetables are limited to two items, while people are limited to three packs of loo paper only. 

Delhaize too has noticed increased demand for some products.  It’s not introducing any restrictions at the minute but is asking customers not to buy more than they need. 

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