Fruit & veg prices are on the rise this week, with rising energy costs making it more expensive for Brits to eat healthily.

Potatoes, cucumbers, oranges and mushrooms all rose in price over the past seven days, according to The Grocer’s latest Key Value Items tracker.

Maris Piper potatoes jumped by 7% this week at Lidl, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, bringing year-on-year average price rises across all retailers to 20%.

Cucumber went up by 9% at Aldi, Asda and Lidl this week. At the discounters, this means an annual rise of 74%.

Energy costs were the main driver of most of the hikes, said Nigel Jenney, CEO of the Fresh Produce Consortium. 

“Energy costs are a combination of things. It’s the input costs in terms of growing crops, in terms of fertilisers, it’s the distribution costs through fuel prices, it’s the packaging costs,” he said.

“But it’s also energy that is used in its direct form to actually chill the goods and store the good, or in the case of greenhouse crops to grow the crops itself.”

Lidl and Aldi saw many of the greatest hikes this week. At Lidl, oranges leapt by 50p per bag to £1.39, while at Aldi, closed cup mushrooms went up by 19p to 94p due to an ending on its Super 6 offer. 

It is a familiar pattern for Lidl and Aldi, which had the highest rate of inflation in December 2022, according to research by Which? Lidl’s annual inflation hit 21.1% in December. Aldi was not far behind at 20.8%.

For many growers, however, the latest round of price hikes will be too little, too late. Apple growers warned this week that a third of new apple trees have not been planted due to sourcing production costs and relentless supermarket pricing pressure.

Ali Capper, executive chair of British Apples & Pears, explained that input costs had risen by 23% over the past year, which had been “met with almost static average fruit prices paid by retailers”.

Royal gala apples, for example, are down in price by an average of 5% year on year across the supermarkets, according to the tracker.

Elsewhere, Warburtons continues to squeeze price hikes through across the sector. Its white bread rose in price at Aldi, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, up 15p to £1.40. This follows price increases in Asda and Morrisons the week before. Its 800g loaf is now 24% more expensive than this time last year.

Heinz also continued its wave of price rises with Heinz spaghetti 400g and Heinz tomato ketchup rising again, this time at Tesco.

Almost 500 Heinz listings, including baked beans, tomato ketchup, and tinned spaghetti, have gone up in price across retailers during the first two weeks of the year, in some cases by up to 80%.

Own-label spaghetti also increased in price in Aldi, up 5p to 42p.