Brace for prices of everyday household goods to rise, shoppers warned

Increasing cost of raw materials and energy will be passed to consumers

Kate Ng
Friday 11 February 2022 10:16 GMT
(Getty Images)

Prices of household favourites such as Marmite, Dove’s soap and Hellmann’s are set to rise again this year as Unilever’s own costs continue to soar.

The company raised prices of its goods in 2021, but said the inflation rate – which has reached its highest level in the UK in almost 30 years – and rising costs of raw materials, wage and energy will impact its prices again.

“We don’t want to put prices up but we’re seeing the highest inflation we’ve seen in a decade,” Unilever said.

“There will be price increases on some products and in some markets but it will not be uniform across the world.”

The firm said it was facing £2.95 billion in extra costs this year alone and while it expected strong sales growth this year, it also predicted a sharp decline in profit margins.

It comes after consumer market research consultants Kantar forecasted that the average annual grocery bill in the UK is on track to rise by £180 this year amid the rising cost of living.

The firm said that grocery prices rose by 3.8 per cent in the four weeks to 23 January compared to the same period last year, with the prices of beef and poultry, savoury snacks, skincare and cat good rising the fastest.

Francis McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “Prices are rising on many fronts, and the weekly shop is no exception.

“We’re now likely to see shoppers striving to keep costs down by searching for cheaper products and promotions. Supermarkets that can offer the best value stand to win the biggest slice of spend.”

In addition, high street giants Next and Greggs have also said prices in their stores will rise to offset increased costs.

Fashion retailer Next said in January that its prices would increase by up to six per cent next year, while Greggs, Britain’s largest bakery chain, said it raised prices between 5p and 10p on its items.

Greggs’ chief executive, Roger Whiteside, said the decision to raise its prices could not be avoided and told the PA news agency: “We try and absorb as many of the cost increases that get passed to us as possible and then put through price increases where we can’t avoid it, and we’ve done that this year.

“The question is, does the inflationary pressure recede or go up.”

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