The shortage of sunflower oil, ubiquitous in the kitchen, is worrying restaurateurs

Indispensable for many dishes, such as the essential fries, have become increasingly rare and expensive since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

A bowl of chips, cod fritters or even patatas bravas… To prepare these small delights offered by restaurateurs, sunflower oil is needed. But Russia and Ukraine account for no less than 78% of the world’s exports of this oil.

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A reliance on the production of these two countries, today restaurateurs face the difficulties of supplying this part. † Professionals stock up on this oil for as long as possible and begin to turn to alternatives says Pascal Mousset, head of the GNI union in Île-de-France, which has three restaurants in the capital. This is what Romain Vidal, director of restaurant Le Sully in Paris did: I anticipated because I knew that sunflower oil came from Ukraine and Russia. I have three months in advance and I recommend as soon as my supplier can deliver it to me. A strategy that is also followed by the fast food chain Big Fernand:We have managed to build up stocks of sunflower oil to guarantee the production of our recipes. We are therefore not afraid of a shortage in placing for the time beingthis one advanced business processes in all our restaurants to reduce our oil consumption as much as possible» explains the French company.

The price of a liter of sunflower oil multiplied by two

But it was still necessary to think about it and have the financial means to buy such an amount of oil, while prices are rising. † The liter of sunflower oil went from 2 euros to 4 euros. I try to buy something every day. It’s first come, first served “, emphasizes Thomas, manager of restaurant Le Tapas in Montpellier. In an effort to stop the rush for this product, Metro, a wholesaler of food products for professionals, made the decision on March 14 to limit the sale of sunflower oil to 50 liters per customer per day. which corresponds to the average purchase transaction of our restaurant customers. The aim is to facilitate the availability of products for everyone for as long as possible. the company explained in a press release.

The other option for professionals is to turn to alternative components. † Restaurant owners are switching to rapeseed or peanut oil. They make mixtures so that it can withstand high temperatures, especially for frying. But the price of all oils has gone up ” emphasizes Pascal Mouset. An increase in the components likely to be felt in the prices offered to consumers.” I won’t have a choice. I haven’t passed on this increase yet, I’ll wait until the end of May to make sure it really fits on time » admits Thomas, restorer in Montpellier.

Several professionals are even considering revising their charts to reduce their reliance on oils. † We are going to adjust some of our dishes so that the price impact for the customer is not too high “, confirms Pascal Mousset of the GNI.

But for some, like Sébastien Leroy, who sells chips and sausages in the Normandy markets, it’s hard to imagine a change in products. Indeed complicated to imagine a sandwich with green beans instead of fries…” We wanted to cook with beef fat or peanut oil, but many consumers are allergic. We try to buy as much sunflower oil as possible, but we had to increase the price of some of our portions of fries“, he explains. His family bowls of fries have indeed increased by 50 cents.

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