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Rush to stock up on oil and flour in France: sales up 55% on 2021

A series of unprecedented shocks, such as Covid, supply chain issues and the war in Europe, are pushing households to hoard basic necessities, a data analysis firm claims

Cooking oil sales are up 55% compared to a similar period last year Pic: Gleb Usovich / Shutterstock

Sales of flour and cooking oil are up over 55% compared to last year as inflation continues to rise in France, caused by supply chain issues and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

In the week April 4 - 11, sales of flour were up 57.4% compared to the same week in 2021, while cooking oil sales were up 55%, data analysis company IRI reports. 

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, oil sales have risen by 33% compared to the same period in 2021, and are 4% more than in 2020 when many households stocked up on basic products due to the Covid pandemic. 

"The current situation is creating uncertainty in French households, which have successively undergone an unprecedented pandemic [caused by Covid], an unprecedented global recovery, issues with the supply of raw materials, inflation and conflict in the heart of Europe", global measurement and data analytics company NielsenIQ states. 

 "We are seeing these tensions translate to purchases in shops".

France’s inflation rate was up 4.5% in March (compared to the same month last year). This is a rise from the 3.6% increase reported in February. 

It has caused food prices to increase, and, more significantly, gas, oil and energy prices to soar. 

Michel-Edouard Leclerc of supermarket chain E. Leclerc said that there will be no food shortages, at least before the summer. 

“There is pasta. For sunflower oil, our stocks go until June,” he said. 

Even though there are stocks, prices of many products, including pasta, sunflower oil, clothes and toilet paper are expected to rise. 

Read more: Price of toilet paper to rise significantly, says boss of E. Leclerc

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