Indonesia, the world's largest producer of palm oil, set a ban on exports citing rising inflation and the desire to ensure the availability of food products domestically following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The trickle-down effects could be greater than most realize. Whether you are conscious of it or not, you probably purchase palm oil products. Palm oil is a very commonly used ingredient.
Some of the biggest purchasers of palm oil are Nestle, Procter & Gamble,Unilever PLC, and Mondelez.
Those companies and others produce very well-known products like Oreos, Lays, Nutella, Kitkats, Crunch Bars, Nesquick, Gerber, Dryers ice cream, Purina pet food, Tide, Gain, Cascade, Gillette, Crest, Oral B, Pepto Bismol. chips, soda, oatmeal, cereal, and the list goes on.
While the average grocery shopper might not notice the shortage just yet, some restaurants are already feeling the effects.
"US Foods and Sysco, they usually have it in stock but right now, they have nothing," explained Aasim Sajjae, Shalimar restaurant manager.
At Shalimar in San Luis Obispo, they use palm oil to cook a majority of their dishes but are now forced to find alternatives.
"If I get it, it's going to be very expensive for the food cost and stuff so to cut the food cost and have a better quality of food, I buy canola oil," Sajjae said.