Foodservice price inflation hits 5.8% in April

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Fishy business: inflation stood at 13.4% in April for fish
Fishy business: inflation stood at 13.4% in April for fish

Related tags: Foodservice price inflation, Inflation

Wholesale foodservice price inflation fell slightly to 5.8% in April, on the back of the weak pound and rises in fish and coffee costs, according to reports.

The new edition of the Foodservice Price Index from consultancy Prestige Purchasing and CGA Strategy showed particularly steep hikes in April for fish, where inflation stood at 13.4%, thanks in part to a sea lice problem and associated treatment costs.

Inflation in the hot beverages category reached 11% with coffee stocks affected by weak sterling and declining stocks of some bean varieties.

Inflation may be easing

Food service price inflation this year:

  • January - 2.9%
  • February - 3.7%
  • March - 6%

For the second month in a row, April prices were higher year-on-year and these rises have pushed the headline rate of inflation to more than three times that of the Consumer Price Index for food and non-alcoholic beverages, which was 1.5% in the 12 months leading up to April.

While the Foodservice Price Index also revealed signs that inflation, while still high by historical levels, may be starting to ease a little.

Inflation for fruit was relatively modest at 1.9% in April, which was the smallest increase of any of the Index’s subcategories.

Vegetable price inflation was at 4.4% in April, a drop on the rate of 10.4% in January.

CGA Strategy commercial director Graeme Loudon put the inflation rises down to the exchange rate and its impact on imports.

Cautious hope

He said: “Inflation in foodservice prices continues to run higher than the sector would wish, and the pound's exchange rate with the euro, dollar and other currencies means imports will continue to be much more costly than in recent years.

“But with domestic production increasing and some other pressures possibly easing, we can cautiously hope for some respite in key costs in the coming months.”

Prestige Purchasing head of consulting and insight Christopher Clare said he was “cautiously optimistic” about the relief in inflation.

He said: “As the summer kicks in we have started to see some relief in pricing in a few categories.

“While we would be hard-pushed to describe this as unusual for the time of year, many of the larger impacts will begin to be factored out of inflation measurements and so, like CGA, we are cautiously optimistic.”

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