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As potato production dwindles and cooking oil remains in tight supply Brits are forking out more for oven chips, with shelf prices up as much as 75% year on year.
Own-label frozen chips were up 22% on average across Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose, Aldi and Lidl, The Grocer’s Key Value Item pricing tracker showed [Assosia 52 w/e 5 October 2023].
Sainsbury’s Steak Cut Chips 1.5kg had the highest proportional price rise – up 75.6%, from £1.19 to £2.09 (£1.39/kg).
Morrisons Homestyle Chips 1.2kg had the highest shelf price at £2.39 (£1.99/kg) – up 4.4% from £2.29 last year.
Tesco Homestyle Straight Cut Oven Chips 950g stuck at £1.85 (£1.95/kg) over the 12-month period.
Branded fries were also subject to price increases. McCain Crispy French Fries 1.4kg, for instance, rose by an average 7.5%, from £4 to £4.30 (£3.07/kg), across the traditional big four [Assosia 52 w/e 10 October 2023].
Sainsbury’s was “committed to offering our customers great choice and value,” according to a spokeswoman.
Tesco was also “absolutely focused on providing great value”, a spokesman said.
A Waitrose spokeswoman said the retailer was “doing everything we can to keep prices as low as possible”.
Morrisons declined to comment. Asda, Lidl and McCain had not responded to requests as The Grocer went to press.
It comes as British Growers Association CEO Jack Ward warned UK potato production in the had dropped nearly a million tonnes in a year – about 20% of total output, according to government data.
The dwindling supply was triggered by growers leaving the industry due to soaring costs and lack of returns, Ward said.
Meanwhile, supply of sunflower oil – another key ingredient in oven chips – remains limited due to the war in Ukraine.
Published in The Grocer, 12th October 2023