Supermarket pork and bacon prices have started to rise - rocketing by more than a fifth in some cases - as retailers and suppliers are forced to pass on cost increases.

Although retailers have kept a lid on key festive items, with most ham joints and pigs in blankets the same price or cheaper than last year, the average price of a pork product is now nearly 5% higher than it was at the beginning of October [].

On a year-on-year basis, a fresh pork shoulder joint (budget and standard tier) is on average 21% more expensive across Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose - having risen from £4.08 to £4.90.

A 1kg pack of pork chops has risen 79p - or 13% - from an average of £6.05 to £6.86.

Meanwhile, bacon has shot up by 12% and in a basket of 200 bacon lines across the multiples, about 50% are now more expensive than last year.

Stephen Howarth, senior analyst for pigs at the AHDB, said farmgate prices for pigs had increased significantly since the end of the summer and the hikes were now starting to be passed on to consumers.

The dead average pig price in the UK has gone up from £1.50/kg to £1.60/kg and is now 13p higher than last year, while pork prices in the EU have moved from €1.65/kg to €1.80/kg, amounting to a 20-cent increase on 2011 [AHDB].

“The supply chain will typically absorb short-term increases, but we’re now probably at a stage where retailers are taking a look at the longer term and adjusting prices accordingly,” he said.