Shortages are not the only problem facing shoppers when buying fruit & veg: prices are also on the up with bananas 11% more expensive in just a week.
Bananas have seen few price increases so far despite inflationary pressures, with prices static over many months.
But this week prices started to rise. In Aldi and Sainsbury’s, the price of a pack of bananas was bumped to 79p from a previous pre-promotion price of 71p.
Aldi and Sainsbury’s were among the cheapest retailers for a pack of bananas before the price change but now offer just above the average price of 78p.
Price rises across core staples like fruit & veg demonstrated the magnitude of inflationary pressures, said Richard Lim, CEO of Retail Economics.
“It’s one of those areas where retailers really want to limit price increases as much as possible,” said Lim.
“The fact that we’ve seen quite aggressive price increases across some of those product lines and areas just shows how much how much inflationary pressure retailers are under in that they have no choice but to pass through some of those costs on to consumers.”
A range of factors are putting pressure on banana prices. Fresh Produce Consortium CEO Nigel Jenney pointed to shipping costs, which have increased with the price of fuel, as well as labour costs, fertiliser and pesticides used in growing bananas.
Bananas also have an additional cost when they get to the UK with the ripening process influenced by rising domestic energy prices.
The wholesale prices of bananas also rose in the week to 27 February, up by 3% for bananas imported from Colombia, and 1% on bananas imported from Costa Rica.
The majority of the bananas sold in the UK and Ireland come from Costa Rica, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic and Colombia.
Bananas are Britain’s third most-loved fruit, after strawberries and grapes, with £536m sales in the 52 weeks to 10 September 2022.
An Aldi spokesman said: “We are working hard to shield customers from industry-wide inflation and our customers make significant savings every time they shop with Aldi.
“We have been named as the UK’s cheapest supermarket by consumer champion Which? for two years running and are committed to always providing the lowest grocery prices in Britain.”