CHIPS junk food obesity

A predicted rise in potato prices would result in a knock-on effect for the cost of chips and other prepared products

Foodservice wholesalers are expecting problems with the availability and price of chips in the autumn due to the recent heatwave’s impact on potato yields.

Suppliers say that the main potato crop, which provides storing potatoes for the winter, has suffered severely in the recent high temperatures.

This will almost certainly cause the price of potatoes to rise, and result in a knock-on effect for the cost of chips and other prepared potato products.

“We’re getting indications of huge increases in chip prices which will go hand in hand with availability and supply issues, said Q Catering MD Steve Clarke.

“From current prices we’re probably looking at a further 20% increase. That will take the overall increase to around 50% to 60% since last year.”

The Grocer understands that chip manufacturers have already been pushing through mid-contract price increases for wholesalers, as soaring energy bills and cooking oil prices have eaten into margins.

“Indications are that the heat has really wrecked crops, and any rain which does come now may cause secondary growth which could hurt yields further,” said Isle of Ely Produce director Oli Boutwood.

“With expensive inputs and lack of yield it’s inevitable that prices will go up, but there has also been lower demand which may offset some of that.”

Another foodservice wholesaler told The Grocer: “There is a lot of speculation at the moment. The chip guys have already put through significant increases in the last 12 months due to fuel and energy costs and this is the next opportunity for them to increase the prices.”

“However, we won’t get a true picture until they have lifted the crop in September or October.”