Statistics Office: UK Food Businesses Complain About ‘Unprecedented’ Price Hike

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British food manufacturing businesses complained about skyrocketing costs driving consumer prices in a survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics in March.
The statistics authority asked businesses to explain in their own words the challenges they face after food-and-beverage spending was found to be playing an increasing role in consumer inflation in recent months.

Businesses said they had been increasingly affected by higher energy prices, supply chain challenges and labor shortages. Energy prices were mentioned by 60% of respondents.

"Prices have shot up in an unprecedented manner. Then electricity prices and wages on top of our raw materials – it's very difficult. We are struggling to keep pace with the increases," a response read.

Only 3% of food and beverage businesses said they had not been affected by price rises, compared with 20% across all businesses. Some 58% of food and drink businesses said they passed on price hikes to consumers.

Forced changes to supply chains and labor shortages were linked to the end of the Brexit transition period in January 2021. Through most of that year, the price of domestic food for food manufacturers rose at a faster pace than imported food.
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