A food industry leader has called on the government to intervene to ease supply chain pressures on food firms as a cost of living crisis looms.
Food and Drink Federation boss Karen Betts has urged ministers to act to help millions of households as they face rising food and energy prices this spring.
Measures urged include a review of all upcoming regulation on the food sector and a National Food Security Council.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to “rising costs, rising inflation and unpredictable supply chains,” with price hikes in UK supermarkets “inevitable,” Betts said.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been a genuine geopolitical, energy and commodity shock,” she said.
The war has had a knock-on impact on the supply chain with shortages of sunflower oil and wheat causing global market prices to surge.
Analysis of an average Asda shopping basket by retail investment platform Interactive Investor, revealed popular products have already seen price hikes over the past six months.
Items to see big price leaps include the supermarket’s own brand Fusilli pasta, up 56 per cent in six months. This was followed by Napolina tomato puree, up one third.
Avocados also saw a 19 per cent leap while Doritos crisps rose 14 per cent.
However, former Sainsbury’s boss Justin King cautioned that the cost of living crisis was yet to strike.
He told the BBC’s Today programme: “The rise in energy bills will hit people hard, closely followed by the rise in National Insurance”.
Shop price annual inflation surged to the highest rate since November 2011 last month.
The rate hit 1.8 per cent in February, an increase from 1.5 per cent in January, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and NielsenIQ.
Food inflation remained unchanged at 2.7 per cent in February, the highest rate since September 2013.
“Food inflation remained the key driver behind higher prices, particularly for fresh food which has been impacted by poor harvests, both in the UK and globally,” the BRC’s Helen Dickinson added.
“Meanwhile, the increase from last month is a result of rising prices for non-food products, particularly health, beauty and furniture. There is little sign of change, with the Bank of England predicting price rises to continue until at least the spring.”