Walkers crisps, and Birds Eye fish finger maker were the latest food manufacturers to share the blame on the weak pound due to price hikes.  This is after they hiked their prices by as much as 10% and 12%, respectively.

Walkers, which is owned by PepsiCo and imports several ingredients such as oil and seasoning, claimed that it had to make ‘’selective cost price changes’’ because of the unstable foreign exchange rates.

A spokesman at the firm said that the company always reviews its price and promotion to ensure that it offers its customers ‘’great value and affordability’’.  And just like the majority of businesses, the company was faced with factors that affect the cost of some of the ingredients and materials used, and these include foreign exchange rates.

Variations in Selective Cost Price

The spokesman went on to explain that although Walkers potatoes are British, they do import several different ingredients and materials in order to produce a complete packet of Walkers crisps. Apart from seasonings and oil for frying, these also included important raw materials that the company uses in its packaging film.  That was why the company was taking measures in order to cover a number of extra costs by means of selective cost price changes across its portfolio.

According to Walkers, there could be an increase in the price of a 32g typical bag of crisps sold to retailers from 50p to 55p. The price of a larger grab bag could rise from 75p to 80p. It would be up to individual supermarkets to determine the price increases for consumers.

Elsewhere, the Nomad Foods-owned Birds Eye said that its prices were likely to increase by an average of 5%. The company buys some of its products in U.S dollars, and this has resulted into higher costs also, thanks to the weak sterling.

To offset costs, a number of products are likely to increase by up to 12% in December, and its pack sizes could also be shrunk. According to Birds Eye UK & Ireland Managing Director, Wayne Hudson, this decision was not arrived at easily.

Average Cost Increase Of 5%

Hudson said that that for some time now, Birds Eye and its retailers have been engaged in ‘open and collaborative conversations’ and the company was working closely with them in order to lessen  any impact on its customers.  He further said that although the company was absorbing a huge part of the of the raw material inflation itself, those kind of increases actually mean that an average cost increase of around 5% may be seen.  The company’s first priority has always been to customers who buy its brands. As such, it is committed to seeing to it that they get premium quality products that give them value for money.