Pineapple was one of the big risers in this week’s Grocer 33, and exclusive research by The Grocer shows it’s not alone: prices are surging across many fresh fruit favourites as rising import and labour costs hit supply chains.

The average price of an own label pineapple has increased by 6.8% year on year to £1 in the major mults, according to the Grocer 33 basket, following warnings over a surge in the cost of importing exotic fruits, which are traded in dollars, since the drop in sterling.

Bananas have been the best-publicised victim of higher costs. Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda and Waitrose all hiked their price for a kilo of own-label bananas - previously an important battle line in supermarket price wars - earlier this year, and the SKU is now 11.8% more expensive at 76p [Brand View 52 w/e 1 November 2017].

However, average supermarket banana prices have actually fallen by 7% year on year across 15 SKUs in the mults to £40p/kilo, Brand View data suggests, following some price cuts on bagged bananas. A pack of eight own label Fairtrade bananas is now 4% cheaper at £1.18, for example, while a six-pack of own label Fairtrade organic bananas is down 3.5% at £1.49.

Average supermarket prices for melons are also down by 4% year on year across 10 SKUs in the mults to £1.83/kg. While an own-label Cantaloupe melon is up by 0.9% to £1.84, an own-label Galia melon is 9.5% cheaper at £1.62.

In contrast, some less exotic fruits are showing significant price rises in the face of fluctuating exchange rates and the mounting labour crisis.

Average supermarket prices for apples are up 6% year on year across 70 SKUs in the mults to £1.34/kilo. A pack of five own-label Cox apples is now 15.6% more expensive at £1.28 on average, while a pack of five own-label Gala apples is up 36.2% to £1.34. Pear prices are also up 8% to an average of £1.54/kilo, with a four-pack of own label pears up 23% to £1.34.

Limes (up 3%), grapefruit (2%), plums (6%) and kiwi (21%) are some of the other popular fruits that have increased in price compared with last year.

In better news for fruit lovers, average prices for berries (including raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries) have fallen by 8% compared with last year to an average of £12.92/kilo across 22 SKUs in the major mults. A 227g punnet of strawberries is now 8% cheaper at £1.82, while a 150g punnet of raspberries is down 11.21% to £1.84.

The majority of berries sold in the UK are home-grown, which means soft fruits have not faced the same import cost pressure as those imported from Europe or further afield. However, growers have warned labour availability is already tightening in the UK, meaning the cost of harvesting is on the rise and British berries could be the next big victim of fruit bowl inflation.