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Saturday 23 March 2019

Shoppers face new price hikes

Aideen Sheehan Consumer Affairs Correspondent

BAKED beans, tuna fish, pineapples and fruit juice are among the latest foodstuffs to be hit by major price hikes.

Food company Batchelors have announced sharp increases in the price of their products, citing oil prices, wet weather, flash floods and even unusually cold temperatures in the Pacific Ocean for the price rises.

The company claimed that global commodity price increases had led to spiralling raw material and business costs, which meant they had no option but to increase their prices to retailers and wholesalers.

"Rising input costs in 2007 are being driven by the combination of heatwaves in Europe and the US, and wet weather and flash floods in northeast Europe," said Kieran Rumley, Batchelors director of marketing .

The price of beans from the US had risen by 19pc this year, while the cost of tomato puree was up 15pc and energy was up 10pc, leading them to raise the price of Batchelors Baked Beans by around 6pc.

Their Squeez and Amigo fruitjuice range would also rise by 6pc, which Batchelors blamed on bad weather in northern Europe forcing the price of apple juice up by 31pc this year on the back of increases of 120pc for orange juice last year.

They blamed colder than normal ocean temperatures in the south Pacific and tighter regulations on fishing for forcing tuna prices up by 35pc this year.


The added that the price of Picnic tinned tuna was likely to increase by 20pc as a result of these circumstances.

Heavy rains in Thailand which supplies most of the pineapple for the Irish market, and a heatwave in southern Europe this summer resulting in a shortage of soft fruit were the reasons cited for increases to the price of tinned fruit.

The cost of Lustre canned pineapple could rise by 15pc, while other types of tinned fruit are set to go up by 7pc.

The price rises are likely to come into effect within the next fortnight. The switching of land to biofuel crops because of high oil prices had also contributed to the higher prices, said Mr Rumley.

Pizza prices are also on the rise because of increases in the price of mozzarella cheese and wheat.

Domino's Pizzas which has 32 outlets in Ireland said this week they were increasing their prices because of the higher costs which they feared would eat into their profits.

They started charging higher prices to their franchised stores yesterday, and it is likely these will be passed on to consumers soon.

Mozzarella prices have risen because the cost of milk has soared on international markets, to the delight of dairy farmers.

Consumers have already been hit with steep increases in the price of milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt and bread in recent weeks. This trend now looks set to continue.

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