Food suppliers could be raising prices unnecessarily under an “inflation excuse,” a UK supermarket chief says.
Tesco Chairman John Allan, Tesco told the BBC it was “entirely possible” food suppliers were putting undue pressure on family shopping budgets.
He said Tesco was trying “very hard” to challenge price hikes it thinks were illegitimate.
UK food costs, including dairy, are rising at their fastest since 1977 in the UK.
Allan said all supermarkets were challenging cost increases from suppliers. He said Tesco was confronting companies it believed were increasing prices unnecessarily.
“We do try very hard to challenge [price hikes], I think,” Allan told the BBC.
“We have a team who can look at the composition of food, costs of commodities, and work out whether or not these cost increases are legitimate.”
He said it was something Tesco’s buying teams were dealing with “every day of the week”.
In 2022, Heinz removed some of its best known products from Tesco shelves after a pricing fall-out between the two companies.
Food prices in the UK rose by 16.8% in the year to December 2022, the Office of National Statistics reported.
In Australia, recent statistics by the Australian Bureau of Statistics reflected a year-on-year change of 9.2% for food and non-alcoholic beverages.
In New Zealand, Statistics NZ’s food price index has surged to 11.3% – a three-decade high.