One after another, supermarket chains are introducing limits on the number of packages of popular flour and sunflower oil a customer can buy.
For the time being the measure is only being applied at chains’ online stores, with sector insiders explaining that this is a precautionary measure, especially as far as flour is concerned. After all, the market share of e-stores may have risen considerably compared to the pre-pandemic period, but it still remains fairly small, at just 5% of all grocery sales.
According to a senior official at a very large retail chain, the situation remains manageable, but flour companies are no longer able to build up stocks to the amounts they used to because of the very high rates of wheat.
Problems with sunflower oil appear to be greater, as some shortages have already emerged in certain products. Some chains introduced an informal ceiling on quantities sold per shopper in order to be able to serve all their customers last week. This is a product that is widely used in food service and in the food industry.
For purchases through the e-shop of leading retailer Sklavenitis, either via eMarket or efood, there is a limit of four packs for popular brands of flour products and its private label (Marata). There is also a limit on special-offer packs of popular types of flour, up to two per order. There is a similar ceiling of four items on sunflower oil orders.
The e-store of the Mymarket chain has also set a limit of four bottles of sunflower oil per order for up to 2-liter bottles, while in some cases regarding 5-liter containers, consumers may buy no more than one item.
Online orders at AB Vassilopoulos have limits set for specific types of flour, with one famous brand’s products being restricted to just two items. In sunflower oil there are seven products that are no longer available to order, while in three products there limits on orders.
The reduced stock has been accompanied by price hikes too, with sunflower oil rising 4.69% in 20 days and flour adding 7.81%.