The price of tartare sauce could soar due to a global shortage of capers, a leading distributor has warned.

RH Amar which distributes Crespo, the UK’s leading brand of olives and capers, fears the cost of capers - a key ingredient in the sauce - will rocket over the next year due to increased demand and falling supply.

Fewer regions in the Mediterranean are producing capers, as the tiny vegetable is tricky and labour-intensive to harvest. Prices have risen 30% in the past four years and a further double-digit rise is expected this year. A surge in the popularity of fish and chips and a greater use of capers as a pizza topping were also driving demand, said RH Amar chairman Henry Amar.

“In the past, tartare sauce was served with Dover Sole, but today its appeal is much more mainstream,” he said.

“As capers are an integral ingredient of the sauce, there will inevitably be a knock-on effect,” Amar added.