Oil, flour, eggs … Product shortages are increasing in supermarkets

War in Ukraine, inflation, storage, avian flu… So many elements which reinforce the lack of certain foods on the shelves.

While shopping, the French gradually notice shelves that are empty, without being renewed. According to analyst NielsenIQ, these shortages represent a shortfall of 851 million euros for supermarkets in the first quarter of 2022. Of these losses, more than 60% relate to groceries and fresh products.

In detail, NielsenIQ specifies that the availability of products began to drop in early March in hypermarkets and supermarkets. This trend “still to be confirmed in the coming weeks“, adds the firm. Among the causes is at the top of the list the Ukrainian war, directly affecting food requiring imported products. Between March and April, the availability rate of oils fell by 15%, forcing consumers to turn to new alternatives. In total, sales increased by 32% between January and April. On a smaller scale, flour sales increased by 13% in the face of a 5.4% decline in the availability rate. But supply and demand aren’t always linked, as frozen potatoes show. Their availability rate fell by 6.8% on the shelves while sales hardly changed.

Sunflower oil on Leboncoin

In addition to import problems, there are other phenomena such as avian flu. “Sixteen million poultry have been slaughtered in France, significantly restricting egg production“, mentions the FNSEA. The trade union organization points out that the “supplies should be strongly impacted until July, the time to repopulate poultry production“.

The FNSEA also points to the behavior of certain consumers who “store at home“, creating “artificial shortages“. Others seek to take advantage of it, and resell, for example, sunflower oil on the second-hand site Leboncoin. It takes an average of 45 euros for ten liters, as evidenced by these two ads.

Cans of ten liters of sunflower oil are sold for 45 euros on Leboncoin. Screenshots on Leboncoin

Faced with these behaviors, the FNSEA calls on consumers to “be civil and not give in to panic“. An opinion shared by the economist specializing in mass distribution, Philippe Moati, who underlines “a certain mimicrybetween customers. According to him, inflation is still in its infancy and shouldcross the 5% threshold on everyday productsby this summer. He fears that inflation will becomestructural» and that she touches «all sectors” in the coming weeks.

SEE ALSO – “The world is rocking”: with inflation and war, Nicolas Baverez compares the current situation to that of 1945


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