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New report warns that the price of basic foods could soar by 2030

A can of baked beans is left at the gates at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, Saturday, March 5, 2022, as tribute to Shane Warne, who was renowned for eating the food whil
A can of baked beans is left at the gates at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, Saturday, March 5, 2022, as tribute to Shane Warne, who was renowned for eating the food whil Copyright Rick Rycroft/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Rick Rycroft/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Indrabati Lahiri
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The price of olive oil and baked beans, among other basic products, could dramatically rise over the next few years, according to new research by the online shopping platform BravoVoucher.

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The pandemic, soaring interest rates and geopolitical conflicts have resulted in the price of many UK food staples, including olive oil, baked beans and granulated white sugar, rising dramatically. A new study has outlined where prices could go over the next few years.

Which products are expected to be most expensive by 2030?

According to the online shopping platform BravoVoucher, by 2030, olive oil is expected to be one of the most impacted products. Its price has risen by 113.8% between 2019 and 2024 (to £8.04 by March 2024) for a 500ml 1 litre bottle. 

Now, BravoVoucher estimates that if inflation does not slow down, olive oil prices could potentially soar to approximately £17.19 by 2030. However, if inflation does manage to come down to 2% by the end of the decade, olive oil prices could rise at a relatively gentler pace, touching almost £9.05 by 2030. 

Olive oil prices are still being heavily impacted by the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, mainly due to the resulting Houthi Red Sea attacks on container and cargo ships causing significant disruption to oil supply routes and stocks in the UK, as well as around the world. 

Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Morocco and Tunisia are some of the world’s biggest olive oil producers. However, rising temperatures across Europe, especially southern Europe, leading to droughts, poor rainfall and a warmer-than-expected 2023-2024 winter, have all contributed to poor olive harvests recently. This has also gone a long way in keeping olive oil prices consistently high. 

Baked bean prices have also risen with the staple seeing a 70.5% increase between 2019 and 2024, to £1.04 per 400-425g tin. However, there may be more to come, with the breakfast favourite potentially going up to around £1.17 by 2030, and that is if inflation reduction plans go well. If not, consumers may have to fork out about £1.77 per tin. 

Baked bean prices have mainly risen over the last couple of years, due to producers such as Heinz hiking prices to increase unit profitability, in a move that some critics have denounced as fueling ‘greedflation’. Similar to shrinkflation, greedflation occurs when corporates or businesses keep product prices high intentionally, even in a cost of living or high inflation scenario, in order to maximise profits. 

Another key ingredient, granulated white sugar, could also become much more expensive down the line, with prices having already rocketed to £1.19 per kg in March 2024, a 67.6% increase. By 2030, if UK inflation comes down to 2%, granulated white sugar could see a mild increase to approximately £1.34, however if not, a kilogram could cost £1.99 by then. 

Sugar prices have mainly seen increases lately due to producers facing higher energy bills, with sugarcane production, especially for products such as ethanol, sugar and molasses being an especially energy-intensive process. 

Furthermore, higher fertiliser costs and poor harvests in key sugar-producing countries such as India, due to droughts and unseasonal rainfall, have also put pressure on prices.

This has also impacted other products such as biscuits, chocolate and other sweet treats, for which sugar and sugar products are a key component. 

Still mineral water could also be left out of several shopping baskets in 2030, if inflation continues, as by then, prices could reach about £1.74 per bottle. In a more optimistic inflation scenario, prices could be closer to £1.17, a slight increase from 2024’s £1.04 per bottle. Mineral water has already seen a 67.7% price hike over the last five years. 

Bottled water prices have been on the rise lately due to the increase in oil and chemical prices. This is due to water treatment plants requiring significant amounts of fuel and chemicals, such as activated carbon, aluminum sulfate and ammonia, amongst several others, in order to process the water. 

However, the role of fuel in the production of bottled water is not limited to only the core water treatment activities. A significant amount of petroleum is also required to produce the plastic bottles. Due to petrol and diesel prices increasing, transport costs have also added up, leading to all these cost burdens being passed on to consumers. 

Similarly, plain biscuits could also quickly become unaffordable for many, projected to cost around £1.52 per 200-300g packet in 2030, if inflation is on the right track, but approximately £2.25 per packet if not. This is largely due to the increasing cost of ingredients such as sugar and flour. 

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Cheese and chicken likely to see price hikes too

Consumers could also see cornflakes becoming pricier as semi-skimmed milk prices are expected to rise to about £1.83 for two pints by 2030, if inflation does not come under control. If prices do come down, two pints are likely to cost £1.40. 

You may also have to shell out somewhere between £9.85 and £11.10 by the end of the decade for your choice of cheddar cheese, depending on which way inflation goes. 

Fresh and chilled whole chicken is also expected to become more expensive, at £5.31 per kg if inflation stays the way it is now. If not, a kg might cost £4.31. 

Furthermore, broccoli could see a significant price bump to £3.32 per kg by 2030, up from £2.50 per kg in 2024, if inflation does not come down. If it does, a kg of broccoli is likely to be approximately £2.82. 

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Parents may also have to set aside more for powdered baby formula, with a pack expected to be priced somewhere between £13.44 and £14.97 by the end of the decade.

How the data was collected

The latest report was based on a previous study using data from the Office for National Statistics, where the platform looked at food price inflation for staple items from 2019 to 2024. 

The 2030 predictions were divided into two sets of predictions, one where UK inflation returns to the Bank of England’s 2% target by 2030, and the other likely to apply if inflation stays the same as it is currently and does not reduce. 

Marco Farnararo, the chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of BravoVoucher said, “This research provides a scary look into the future of food prices if current inflation trends continue. The dramatic increase we’ve seen in prices for everyday essentials like olive oil and baked beans is particularly concerning. It highlights the urgent need for effective economic policies to stabilise inflation and protect consumers. 

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“While food prices are continually rising, there are steps shoppers can take to help cut costs. For example, taking advantage of store offers or vouchers can help cut prices, however, don’t be tempted to purchase unnecessary items just because they are on offer. It is also important to keep track of what you already have before going shopping to prevent unnecessary extra spending.” 

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