Shoppers to be hit by second wave of ‘inevitable’ food hikes: warning

Shoppers to be hit by second wave of ‘inevitable’ food hikes: warning

Shoppers face a second wave of food price increases, with the cost of a basket of everyday items set to rocket in the coming weeks, industry sources have warned.

Price hikes in animal feed, energy and fertiliser along with supply chain issues will lead to an “inevitable” rise in food prices in the coming weeks and months, according to Paul Kelly, Food and Drink Ireland director.

Organic eggs could also vanish from supermarket shelves as farmers consider reducing production due to soaring feed and energy costs, Teagasc has warned.

“The poultry situation is on a knife-edge at the moment,” Michael McKeon of Teagasc told the National Fodder and Food Security Committee meeting.

Milk, eggs and tomatoes have already increased in price, with industry sources warning customers can expect the cost of a loaf of bread to also climb significantly amid spiralling inflation.

The price of flour is set to rise a further 25pc in the next nine to 15 months, Mr Kelly warned.

“We’ve seen the price of flour increase by 50 to 60pc and gas, the main source of energy for baking, is four or five times more expensive than a year ago,” he said.

Commodity price increases, he said, usually took six months to reach consumers and increased costs in food commodities, energy, transport and packaging were “simply off the scales” compared with to what they were before.

“When that happens is really a matter for individual companies, but I think it will be sooner rather than later at this stage,” said Mr Kelly.

Damian O’Reilly, lecturer in retail management at Technological University Dublin, said the price of staples such as milk, eggs and tomatoes had already risen in recent weeks and consumers could expect further increases due to rising costs such as freight, energy and wages.

While he said there should be a stabilisation in prices in six to eight months, until then shoppers were facing price hikes.