Supermarket bosses have largely shielded shoppers from the worst of a surge in costs in a desperate bid to keep customers, but now it could hit retailers with higher prices on goods
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The price of some groceries has jumped by 20 per cent, adding to the cost of living crisis.
Apples and margarine are among the goods that have got much dearer. Supermarket bosses, desperate to keep customers, have largely shielded shoppers from the worst of a surge in costs.
But there are signs higher costs are being passed on. Marmite maker Unilever is the latest big supplier to warn it could hit retailers with higher prices.
After months of falling food prices, food inflation – how much prices are rising year-on-year – almost tripled from 0.3% in August to 0.8% in September, the Office for National Statistics said.
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A close look at the stats shows some items rose sharply year-on-year.
Pork sausages have gone from £4.87 to £5.16 a kilo – a 6% jump.
Pears have soared 16% to £2.37 and apples have surged 20% to £2.35.
Margarine has also risen 20% – with a typical 500g tub now costing £1.60. Experts warn food inflation could carry on rising into next year.
Investment group Shore Capital predicts prices will jump as much as 6% partway through 2022.
Clive Black, one of its research analysts, said: “Some suppliers that raised prices in the summer are… already necessarily coming back for more given the inflationary forces.”
He added those in the industry may end up with “no more slack to
cut”. He said: “With rising demands from supply chains around animal welfare…, safety, sustainability and well-being, in future years shoppers will have to pay more for their food.”
Rising food bills will add to the pressure on millions of households having to pay higher energy prices.
Those hardest hit have also lost the £20 a week Universal Credit uplift.