The government’s new sugar tax combined with a shortage in CO2, which has already affected the supplies of some beers and ciders, has caused soft drinks prices to spiral, according to new figures.
Soft drinks inflation in May 2018 was 11.1% higher in May than in the same month a year before, according to the CGA Prestige Foodservice Price Index.
The news came as pub chain JD Wetherspoon announced that it was getting back to normal after having been unable to serve three products on draft – John Smiths, Strongbow, and Strongbow Dark Fruits – because of the CO2 shortage.
It confirmed that supplies of the products across all of the company’s pubs was set to be resolved by this morning.
Meanwhile, the CGA Prestige Foodservice Price Index also revealed that fish prices continue to spiral, with year-on-year inflation hitting 23.8% in May.
The upward trend has been fuelled by a strong rise in salmon prices, and by uncertainty over future fishing quotas after Brexit.
Shaun Allen, chief executive at Prestige Purchasing, said: “The upward movement in inflation to its highest level so far this year will not be welcome news for operators.
“The industry has experienced a continuous stream of supply issues this year which is contributing to the rise in inflation within the foodservice sector and the recent shortage of CO2 is only likely to add further pressure over the coming months. With more turbulent times expected as we head towards Brexit, it will be more important than ever that businesses take a proactive approach to managing the risks of inflation.”