Greggs warns of price hike to sausage rolls due to Ukraine war

By Isabella Boneham
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 12:32 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th March 2022, 12:32 pm

Greggs has warned that the Russian invasion of Ukraine could be force it to hike the prices of its food items.

The bakery chain said the ongoing conflict threatens to increase the cost of raw ingredients, meaning customers could soon have to pay more for its goods.

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Rising fuel costs is also contributing to the expense of transporting these ingredients, putting further pressure on the retailer to hike its prices.

What has Greggs said?

In January it was reported Greggs would increase the price of its sausage rolls by 5p.

At the time, the firm’s chief executive Roger Whiteside said the chain could not rule out further price hikes.

A Greggs spokesperson told Bloomberg: “Ingredients and labour costs have been rising and Greggs is not immune from that.”

Mr Whiteside said that the chain would work to mitigate the impact of rising energy costs on customers, but warned “everything is going up in price”.

He said: "Food ingredients are getting more expensive, and energy is getting more expensive than it was looking like then.

"All the proteins, all the cereals, all the oils - everything’s going up in price.

“As ever, we will work to mitigate the impact of this on customers.

"However, given this dynamic, we do not currently expect material profit progression in the year ahead.”

Greggs normally keeps any price hikes limited due to its reputation as an affordable bakery chain.

But Mr Whiteside added: "I’m never going to give a promise that it will always be like that because there’s uncertainty in the outlook.

"So depending on how the market reacts you might see that we want to protect prices at one end of the market where we can see competition is more intense, but move prices up more aggressively in other parts of the market."

How is the Russia-Ukraine war affecting food prices?

Even before the war, supermarket shoppers have been warned to brace for an annual grocery bill rise of around £180 as the cost of living crisis squeezes households.

Market research firm Kantar said food prices rose 4.3% in February, with prices rising fastest for savoury snacks, fresh beef and cat food.

But the Russian invasion of Ukraine threatens to increase food bills even further.

Canned goods and sunflower oil are due to increase in price, but all supermarket goods could also go up due to soaring costs of petrol and fertiliser.

What else has Greggs announced?

At the beginning of the year Greggs announced plans to open 150 new branches despite losses in response to the supply chain crisis.

The food giant said stores had a strong performance in October with sales in the 12 months of 2021 hitting £1.23 billion.

Mr Whiteside said: "Whilst conditions in the first few months of 2022 are likely to remain challenging, we are confident that we are well placed to make progress on the many attractive opportunities that lie ahead."