Prices for the foodservice industry saw a 3.7% jump in February, with further increases to follow in the next few months.
That's according to the latest edition of the CGA Prestige Foodservice Price Index.
The 3.7% rise for February follows year-on-year increases of 1.8% in December 2016 and 2.9% in January 2017. Month-on-month inflation from January to February was 0.6% higher than seasonal averages.
February's rise widens the gap between inflation experienced by the public and that in the foodservice sector. Inflation as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) was 2.3% in February.
According to Prestige Purchasing and CGA Strategy, areas that have experienced particularly high inflation include:
- Fish, with prices up 8% on February 2016 following poor cod catches, increased demand from China, and sea lice problems for salmon producers.
- Sugar, chocolate and other confectionery, as supply of cane sugar into the UK has reduced. Soft drinks prices have risen by over 6%.
- Vegetables, with prices up significantly as a result of poor weather conditions in key regions of Europe.
The Foodservice Price Index expects more inflation increases between now and late summer, with the exchange rate for sterling likely to remain low. However prices may ease towards the end of 2017, with the recent fall in oil prices a "welcome development".
Christopher Clare, head of consulting & insight at Prestige Purchasing, said: "Inflationary pressure looks set to continue, with our FPI forward forecasts showing we might just hit 5% in the next couple of months. We are in for a continued period of volatile pricing and operators will find that their supply chain is demanding extra focus and that good data is key."
Phil Tate, chief executive of CGA Strategy, said: "Our latest Foodservice Price Index reveals no respite in inflationary trends. The moderate to steep rises in nearly all categories are placing unwelcome pressure on businesses in the foodservice supply chain, and with sterling continuing to struggle there is little to suggest that inflation will ease soon. It reinforces the need for operators to adopt sharp purchasing strategies in the months ahead."
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