Britain faces a “double whammy” of food-price rises that will squeeze consumers already facing drastic hikes in energy and household bills.
Food industry experts warned shoppers to brace themselves for an increase of “four or five percent” by the end of November followed by a similar rise in January, The Daily Mail reported.
David Sables, a food industry veteran who helps suppliers negotiate with big firms, said the first set of price hikes were linked to rising cost of commodities, raw materials and labour in recent months.
But he warned the effects of the current gas crisis, lorry driver shortage and carbon dioxide shortages had not yet filtered through.
CO2 is used in food production, including salad bags and meat packaging, and soaring gas bills have forced some suppliers to shut.
Tesco Chairman John Allan warned two weeks ago that shoppers should prepare for price rises of around five percent before Christmas.
But Sables, chief executive at consultants Sentinel, said the latest strains on the economy had paved the way for a second set of price rises, due to hit consumers in the New Year.
One supermarket executive agreed, adding he expected inflation to reach “at least double if not triple” the current 3.2 percent rate.
Consumer prices rose by the most on record in the year to August, with economists highlighting food-price inflation as a chief cause.