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UK potato chips prices surge after heatwave-induced potato shortage

UK potato chips prices surge after heatwave-induced potato shortage

In the United Kingdom, the crisp aisle is hit by price hikes following the heatwave last summer

February 26, 2019
Crisps fans in the United Kingdom might have noticed that their favourite snack has become a little more expensive in recent months.

Rumours of potato shortages in the UK started circulating late last year, with agricultural experts placing the blame on the unpredictable weather that dominated headlines in 2018.

Thanks to the summer heatwave, British farmers suffered a 10 to 15 per cent drop in crop yields, prompting a scarcity of potatoes and subsequently, a surge in crisps prices.

Walkers, Wotsits and Hula Hoops are among the affected brands, according to trade publication The Grocer, with some multi-pack offerings having had “significant price hikes”.

The price of a multi-pack of six 25g packets of Walkers baked sour cream and chive crisps, for example, has gone up by an average of 23p

Own-brand offerings at UK supermarkets are rising in price too, claims the magazine, with some packets increasing by as much as 25 per cent.

UK growers warned of food shortages in September last year, after revealing that potato crops were down by one third while onions were down by half.

At the time, Cedric Porter, editor of World Potatoes Market, told The Daily Telegraph that the shortage would result in a three centimetre size reduction of British chips.

Cedric Porter, editor of World Potatoes Market:

“This was the hottest British summer 1976, which any potato person will tell you was an almost mythical year.”
Companies in this Article
Agri Markets Ltd offers World Potato Markets, a weekly electronic newsletter that monitors European and World markets for potatoes
KP Snacks is one of the leading manufacturers of savory snacks in the United Kingdom
Walkers is the market leader in the UK. The company is part of the Pepsico/Frito-Lay concern. Brand names include sensations, wotsits, potato heads, Doritos, Sunbites and quavers.