There are all manner of oils and fats that we consumers are exposed to when we go to the shops. Many times, we go to buy and pick the cooking oil that fits our budget. This is because of late, cost of cooking oils is on the climb, with as recently as last month the prices making a jump of more than Ksh 100. It is important to note that almost all the cooking oil consumed in Kenya is imported. Recently for instance, Bidco Oils launched a new Golden Fry which boasts antioxidants, tocotrienols and Vitamins A, D and E. They say that these additions will have health promoting properties. However, when we go to the shop, do we take time to read through the products in order to understand their unique offerings? My research indicated that shoppers keep an eye on the price before anything else. Maybe the other most important thing is the expiry of the product. I found Elianto Corn Oil now has an extra feature: it is winterized oil. This means that it cannot solidify even at extremely low temperatures. I have an experience with the cooking oil that solidifies, especially during cold seasons. It becomes a headache when the cooking experience must involve warming parts of the container so that the oil can liquify. Winterization is the process used to refine oil which is later used in botanical oils, salad dressings, mayonnaise and other cooking oils. I sought more information on what it really means for various consumers. One professor told me that he uses winterized olive oil because it is easy to spread even on salads. The oil can be stored in a fridge and it will not lose its qualities. However as cost of living continues to rise, shoppers sometimes will go for the price than for many other qualities. A number of respondents that I talked to said they will look for those products that are on offer so that they gain something more from their shopping. A number of them said they love Rina Cooking Oil, but the price makes them go for cheaper oils. Someone also said Rina Oil’s high qualities means she uses just a little when frying and the results are evident in the flavour-filled meals. The chapatis, as she says, are to die for. Though there are numerous brands out there, retail prices need to be looked into so that consumers are not disadvantaged.

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