Consumers are still being forced to pick up the tab at supermarket checkouts for the disastrous 2007 veg growing season, new industry figures have shown.
Although the panic prices of late July have subsided on some brassica crops, the price of sprouts and cabbages is still rising, while the price of peas has soared up to 65% as retailers try to slow sales rates and avoid running out of stock after 40% of the harvest was lost to floods.
The sharpest increase is in the price of Tesco's own label frozen peas, which have leapt from £1.08 to £1.79 for a 1.2kg pack.
Birds Eye frozen peas have also risen substantially in price in the wake of its two-pronged strategy of altering pack sizes and raising retail prices. Last week, Tesco was charging shoppers £1.49 for a 907g pack of Birds Eye peas. Now the pack weighs just 800g, while the price has risen to £1.69 - equivalent to a jump of 23%.
The poor summer was starting to have a major impact on prices, confirmed Tim Mudge from the Processed Vegetable Growers' Association, adding: "Earlier in the year retailers were locked in a price battle on peas, ignoring the realities of supply and demand. Now they're trying to avoid running out of stock."
Sprout prices are also up. In the run-up to Christmas, growers are warning production is 15-20% lower than usual. One buyer was reported to have paid 20% more for sprouts, adding 16p to the price of a bag.
Cabbage prices have also suffered. At 88p per head across most major multiples, they are still 30% higher than they were in July.
However, loose broccoli prices currently stand at £1.78/kg - up 20p on the July price, but nearly half the panic levels of £2.99 seen in the aftermath of July's floods. Cauliflower prices are also down 20% on summer highs to about 78p per head - cheaper than at the start of July. And carrot prices have stayed unchanged at 64p/kg for the whole summer.