Brexit: Weetabix warns of price rises in 2017 sparked by slumping pound sterling

British companies are now bracing for further pressure in the months ahead as the start of  Brexit negotiations threatens to drag the pound down further

Zlata Rodionova
Monday 30 January 2017 11:23
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 Weetabix has become the latest firm to warn of price rises sparked by the weaker pound
Weetabix has become the latest firm to warn of price rises sparked by the weaker pound

First it was Marmite, then PG tips and Freddo bars and now the chief executive of Weetabix has warned that the price of one of the nation’s favourite breakfast cereals might rise in 2017, on account of the slumping pound.

Speaking to the BBC on Monday, Giles Turrell, the chief executive of Weetabix said prices are likely to go up this year by low-single digits in percentage terms.

The Independent has contacted Weetabix for further comment.

A string of companies in the UK have already attempted to offset sterling weakness by passing on the additional cost to consumers. Last year, Unilever clashed with Tesco over the price of products including Marmite prompting the later to raise prices.

Wheat, one of the main ingredients in Weetabix, is a global commodity, which means it is priced in dollars and that its cost in pounds has therefore jumped over the past seven months.

British companies are now bracing for further pressure in the months ahead as the start of Brexit negotiations threatens to drag the pound down further.

Premier foods, the maker of Mr Kipling cakes and Bisto gravy, earlier this month said it was in talks with some of its biggest retail customers about cranking up prices as a result of the twin pressures of the tumbling pound and rising commodity prices.

High street chain Next also warned shoppers they could face price rises of up to 5 per cent in 2017 due to the falling pound, with cost pressures likely hitting annual profits by up to 14 per cent.

The pound is currently down about 10 per cent against the euro since the EU referendum in June, and is 17 per cent weaker against the US dollar.

On Monday, Weetabix also announced a £30m capital investment programme across its UK manufacturing sites in Burton Latimer and Corby.

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