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    Food prices to rise further, warns ASDA former chief

    (Photo by Hollie Adams / AFP) (Photo by HOLLIE ADAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

    There’s little hope that food price inflation will ease off soon, Andy Clarke, former chief executive of supermarket chain Asda, has warned, reports stated today (2).

    Clarke, now the chairman of operational improvement specialist Newton Europe, has told Radio 4’s Today Programme that UK is set to face a tough winter. 

    With food inflation already at 11.6 per cent, according to the BRC’s survey today, Clarke warns that it could accelerate higher and retailers were already seeing customers starting to buy less as a result. 

    He added that price rises were unlikely to slow down very quickly over the next few months. 

    “It’s going to be a tough winter and food inflation is clearly just adding to the burden of families,” he said. 

    “For retailers, they’re doing everything they can, as are manufacturers, trying to find ways of reducing costs…but I think what we’re seeing is with everything they’re doing, they can’t protect the consumer as much as they’d like to.” 

    “We’re seeing inflation numbers at over double-digit. There’s nothing we can see in the near term that suggests it’s going to go south of that. If anything, it’s going to go up,” he said.

    Clarke adds that Christmas will be challenging for families, who are already facing high fuel costs and rising energy bills.

    Everyone wants to enjoy Christmas, but you’ve got to take a view that certainly for the next three to six months we’re not going to see any rapid decline in inflation. I think it’s going to be a tough winter, and food inflation is clearly adding to the burden for families.

    Costs for tea bags, milk and sugar are rising rapidly, pushing the food price inflation to record highs. The hike in shop prices was partly due to higher costs for ingredients and energy. 

    Worker shortages also pushed up prices apart from war in Ukraine has seen energy and food prices around the world increase. The conflict has disrupted supplies from both Russia and Ukraine, which are major exporters of goods such as sunflower oil, wheat, and fertiliser. 

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