Tesco and Sainsbury’s have hiked the price of a kilo of own-label bananas by 4p to 76p, following the same move by Asda last week.
Sainsbury’s, which sells 100% Fairtrade bananas, has also increased the price of its own-label 5-pack by 5p to 85p [Brand View 10 May to 8 August 2017]
This is the latest in a series of banana price rises over the last eight months, following supply issues in key growing regions as well as the depreciation of sterling.
Loose bananas were available for 68p per kilo across the mults for more than two years until Asda, Sainsbury’s, Lidl and Aldi increased prices to 72p in November. Tesco and Waitrose followed suit in December, with Tesco then hiking the price of a 5-pack by 10p to 90p in July.
“Importing bananas from the Americas has become more expensive,” said a Tesco spokesman, who stressed the supermarket would “only consider price increases when absolutely necessary”.
Sainsbury’s said the cost of its products was “determined by a number of factors and prices can fluctuate both up and down as a consequence”.
Alongside the post-Brexit weak GBP, adverse weather in South and Central America resulted in an increase in import prices to the UK earlier this year, up 17.7% to an average of £810/tonne in March [Mintec 52 w/e 21 March 2017].
Since July, wholesale prices have begun to decline as supplies from Central America have improved, according to Mintec, However, Alistair Smith, international coordinator at Banana Link, said retail prices should remain higher to better reflect the cost of production.
“We hope these latest retail price moves are the beginnings of a welcome recognition by the big retail players in the UK that paying prices that cover the real costs of production, including a living wage for workers, will mean higher prices to consumers,” he added.