Groceries for the average UK family could soon go up by more than £1,000 a year, according to retail expert Clive Black.
In an interview with The Mirror, Black, an analyst at the investment company Shore Capital, explained food prices have already gone up by 12%. If a family’s average food shop usually comes in at around £150 to £200 a week, price hikes will see it increase by £20, he said.
A mixture of inflation, post-pandemic challenges, and the Russia-Ukraine war are said to be the main drivers of the surge in the cost of food bills.
Black said: “We’re only a couple of weeks into the real cost-of-living squeeze and it’s getting worse. If we have a harvest failure, the price of things like bread could go up a lot more.
“I don’t think there will be a shortage of food but we could see prices going a lot higher and some rationing.“
He added: “Those on the lowest incomes will be squeezed most.”
An end to the war in Ukraine could be one of the factors that help to reduce the inflation of food bills, but this is could take several years, according to some experts.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict is having a huge impact on the UK and global food industry.
Russia is the biggest importer of ingredients used in fertilisers, essential for food production. Fertiliser price hikes are already cutting farm profits and productivity.
On the consumer side, the UK is also being hit by shortages of sunflower oil. Ukraine is its biggest exporter, and the disruption caused by the conflict has led some manufacturers and retailers to swap sunflower oil with rapeseed oil. UK supermarkets have also started rationing cooking oils.
As sunflower oil shortages continue, the price of the product is also increasing, making it more difficult for families to afford it. The price of a litre of own-brand sunflower oil has gone up by 12p, now costing £1.26 since the start of 2022 according to The Mirror. Five litre bottles have also gone up by 38p.
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