Foodservice prices see 8.8% inflation in June

'Notably more exposed' wholesale foodservice prices saw 8.8% inflation in June
26/07/2017 - 08:58
Wholesale foodservice prices saw inflation of 8.8% in June 2017 as the exchange rate and an increase in the price of fish added to the inflationary pressures on the sector.

The latest edition of the CGA Prestige Foodservice Price Index revealed that the 6.5% disparity between foodservice price and the Consumer Price Index, which measured at 2.3% in June, highlighted how the foodservice supply chain is exposed to ‘notably more’ inflationary pressures.

The foodservice inflation rate is down 0.2% from May’s figures, which was the index’s highest point in almost nine years, but was still at a rate which the index says is a result of substantial challenges in the areas of the wholesale foodservice that depend on imports.

Christopher Clare, head of consulting & insight at Prestige Purchasing, said: “Indexed prices this month are slightly higher than in May 2017, but a bigger increase over the same period last year means a small drop in the rate of inflation reported today.

“Although we are forecasting far lower rates of inflation for this time next year, the quirk is that we still expect pricing in many categories to be higher than what we are seeing today.”

The most sharply affected category was fish, where inflation stood at 20.8%, said to be driven by sea lice problems in Norwegian and Scottish farms, concern over cod and tuna quotas and the pressure that low exchange rates is placing on imported catches

In the ambient hot categories, inflation was running at 12.0% in June, thanks to rising coffee and tea prices while inflation in fruit, a category particularly dependent on imports and vulnerable to exchange rates, stood at 13.6%.

The prices of sugar was 5.1% lower than in June 2016, with the dip caused by increased sugar cane production and yields in Brazil, healthier beet sugar production across the EU, and relatively low cocoa prices.

Graeme Loudon, commercial director at CGA Strategy, said: “These latest figures from the CGA Prestige Foodservice Price Index confirm the scale of the inflationary pressure brought by Brexit and the impact of the Referendum on sterling.

“Alongside other issues like oil prices and supply challenges, particularly in the fish markets, they are forcing businesses in the wholesale foodservice sector to stay on their toes.

“Operators that can optimise their procurement and pricing strategies and mitigate some of the inflationary factors will be best placed to succeed in the months ahead.”

The Foodservice Price Index is a new independently developed counterpart to the Consumer Price Index for the catering and hospitality sector.

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