Halle (Saale)/DUR/jsp – Even at the beginning of the corona pandemic, customers were always standing in front of empty supermarket shelves. The situation has become tense again since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. We take a closer look at the situation in Halle and visit four supermarkets in North Halle: Aldi, Edeka, Penny and Rewe.
The effects of the war in figures
The effects can be seen not only in food prices, but also in inventories. In the week after the start of the Ukraine war, oil sales doubled and flour sales even tripled, the Federal Statistical Office announced. Bottlenecks in deliveries and hamster purchases mean that many products are barely in stock, although it is precisely these foods that are already being rationed by supermarkets.
These products are currently in short supply in Halle supermarkets:
- cooking oil: One of the first products to become a rarity in supermarkets was oil. Sunflower, rapeseed, germ or vegetable oil can no longer be found at Aldi, Edeka, Penny and Rewe in Halle. An exception is olive oil, which is still available in most supermarkets.
- Flour: It’s the same with flour. Hopefully, customers arrive at the right time and can still dust off a pack or two at most, but you’ll find empty shelves in most stores. Baking mixes, especially for bread, are also in short supply.
- Sugar: Although sugar can still be found in most supermarkets, it too is strictly rationed. Sugar can only be bought in normal household amounts, which means two packets in most supermarkets.
- Oatmeal: Oatmeal was also scarce in the four supermarkets. In particular, the own brands of the respective supermarkets were sold out, but the most expensive brand products were also scarce.
- Rice: With rice, the number of products affected by shortages grows. Loose rice packets are not available at Aldi, Edeka, Penny or Rewe. Currently, only rice in bags for cooking, parboiled rice or rice pudding is available. Compared to last year, 74 percent more rice was bought in the week of March 7, Manager magazine reports.
- Mustard: Bautzner mustard, particularly popular in the East, is currently almost impossible to obtain. Mildly hot mustard from other brands was also completely sold out in supermarkets.
- Milk: Milk is similar to sugar. Fresh and UHT milk was still available in supermarkets. At Penny, on the other hand, UHT milk was already out of stock. Although milk is not in short supply at the moment, store operators seem to fear panic buying and subsequent shortages. At Rewe, milk is already rationed and only one carton is delivered to each customer.
In Halle, toilet paper is piling up again as in times of Corona
- Noodles: Especially where spelled products used to be, there is now only a yawning void. Cheap pasta types and organic pasta from supermarket own brands are also completely out of stock, as are pasta types from the Riesa and Dorfmühle companies.
- Toilet paper: The sight of empty shelves, where you would otherwise find toilet paper, has not been unheard of since the Corona pandemic. These images are now repeated because toilet paper is once again scarce in many supermarkets. This product is also affected by rationing and is only sold in normal domestic quantities.
- Vanilla pudding: Some specialty products are also hard to find in supermarkets. An example of this is Dr. Oetker’s Vanilla Flavored Pudding Powder. Other examples include Lay’s Potato Chips, Sunflower Seeds, Erasco Stews, Storck Sweets, or Spreewaldhof Storage Jars.
Supermarkets appeal to their customers for solidarity
Although much food has already had to be rationed, Edeka continues to appeal to the solidarity of the buyers. A sign in front of the empty shelves reads: “Dear customers, please show solidarity, buy in normal household quantities.”
Photo: sophie pietzner
Federal Food Minister Cem Özdemir also called on citizens not to buy hamsters, emphasizing: “We have secured the supply.”
Outrage over prices at Aldi-Süd
Some groceries are also in short supply at Aldi-Süd stores. Oil is hard to come by and when it is available, customers have to reckon with prices that are too high.
The price of sunflower oil at Aldi Süd has now risen to an impressive EUR 4.99. One customer took his anger out online, writing on the company’s Facebook page: “This is one cheek that can’t be beat!”
Price frustration can also be felt on Twitter. One user commented: “Really? How can you afford that? Some moms have five euros for a whole day (or two).”