Walkers and Birds Eye latest food manufacturers to hike prices

Walkers and Birds Eye raise prices

Walkers crisps and fish fingers maker Birds Eye were the latest to blame the weak pound on price increases, after they raised their prices by up to 10 % and 12% respectively.

Walkers, owned by PepsiCo, were forced into “selective cost price changes” due to “fluctuating foreign exchange rates” it claimed, as it imports a number of ingredients, including oil and seasoning.

A Walkers spokesman said: “We continually review our price and promotion initiatives to ensure we offer great value and affordability to our customers. Like most businesses, we are facing factors which impact the cost of some of our ingredients and materials including fluctuating foreign exchange rates.

‘Selective cost price changes’

Firms to blame Brexit for price rises
  • Unilever
  • Nestlé
  • Walkers
  • Birds Eye

“Whilst our potatoes are British, we import a number of different ingredients and materials to produce a finished packet of Walkers crisps, [including] seasonings, oil for frying and key raw materials used in our packaging film. In light of this we are taking steps to cover some of these additional costs through selective cost price changes across our portfolio.”

The company said that a 32g standard bag of crisps – that is sold to retailers – could increase in price from 50p to 55p, and a larger grab bag from 75p to 80p. But, as Walkers doesn’t set the retail price of its products, it would be for individual supermarkets to decide on price rises for consumers, it said.

Elsewhere, Birds Eye (owned by Nomad Foods) said its prices could rise by an average of 5%, as some of its products are bought in US dollars, so the firm’s costs have risen too due to the weak sterling.

Some products could rise by up to 12% next month, and its pack sizes could shrink to offset costs. Birds Eye UK & Ireland md Wayne Hudson said the decision was not taken lightly.

‘5% average cost increase

“We have been in open and collaborative conversations with the retailers for some time now and are working closely with them to minimise any impact on our customers,” said Hudson. “Whilst we are absorbing a significant proportion of the raw material inflation ourselves, the level of increases mean that we may see in the region of a 5% average cost increase.

“Our first priority is always to the people who buy our brands and we are committed to ensuring they get the best quality products that provide value for money.”

Meanwhile, the pound has fallen 18% against the US dollar since June’s Brexit vote. Unilever raised its Marmite prices last month, and Nestlé said it may have to raise its prices after it cut its annual growth forecast.

 

Brexit price rises – at a glance
  • Walkers raises price to retailers by up to 10%
  • Crisp maker blamed weak pound on import price hikes
  • Birds Eye raises prices by 5% on average
  • Firm said some ingredients bought in dollars increased costs

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