According to the NielsenIQ barometer, published this Friday, September 2, mustard is the product that has been most affected this summer by store shortages. At his side: frying fat, vinaigrette, sprayers or sandwiches. Consequences of the war in Ukraine, high temperatures or even Covid-19 explains, to La Dépêche du Midi, Olivier Dauvers, expert in mass distribution.
In its latest barometer on the state of in-store product shortages, published this Friday, September 2, NielsenIQ places mustard at the top of the products most affected by stockouts. According to the panelist, its availability rate on the shelves of supermarkets would have fallen by 31.8% between summer 2021 and summer 2022. “I am absolutely not surprised by this result, affirms Olivier Dauvers, expert in supermarkets. The shortage of mustard is now proven and consumers have all realized it. Basically, there is a problem of raw material which is not available. Mustard seed has been much less harvested in Canada, France, Russia, or Ukraine.”
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According to the expert, the little mustard available in stores today is almost always imported mustard: “It comes mainly from Eastern European countries, especially Poland. Moreover, it has a specificity. It is sweeter than Dijon mustard.” When will shelf supply return to normal? “Not before the end of the year, the time that this year’s harvest finally arrives at the mustard makers to be used”, warns Olivier Dauvers.
The postponement phenomenon
Another lesson from the NielsenIQ barometer: over one year, stock-outs of vinaigrette, oil, frying fat and even cooking fat have increased by nearly 10%. “The problem with all fat-based products comes from the war in Ukraine, from the cessation of the export of sunflower oil, specifies the specialist in large distribution. When you have the world’s leading producer who stop exporting, quite logically you have a shortage problem that occurs. And so, then, you have another phenomenon that occurs which is the transfer to other products and this is particularly the case with fat to Mechanically, the shortage of sunflower oil has shifted consumer demand to other products that are not as easily available in large quantities and which, themselves, are falling out of stock.”
“Sensitive weather” products
A kind of domino strategy in short. Unlike mustard, sunflower oil has already made a comeback on the shelves of supermarkets: “It has reappeared, often thanks to brands that we did not know, but the problem is that the consumers no longer buy it because it is very expensive and, in addition, often they have already stocked up”, analyzes Olivier Dauvers.
Between the summer of 2021 and the summer of 2022, the sale of sandwiches doubled, creating, here too, some supply problems for supermarket shelves: “A consequence of the health crisis, estimates the expert. The development of telework has led to less consumption of meals away from home. For two years, sales have logically fallen, generating a negative history effect. When the situation returns to normal, you go back to buying as before and stocks sometimes have hard to follow.”
As for the stock-outs of foggers, Olivier Dauvers directly blames the high temperatures: “It’s typically a product that is bought on impulse when the temperature rises. It’s mechanical! It’s a ‘weather product’. sensitive’. As is also indirectly the sale of oven cleaners which fell by 85% this summer. In the heat of the heat, you eat cold more often, use the oven less and therefore think less about cleaning it. ”