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Hold onto your chips – inflation is pushing up the price of ketchup!

Hold onto your chips – inflation is pushing up the price of ketchup!
Image source: Getty Images.

It started with things like lumber prices and used car valuations, and as annoying as that was, it was just about tolerable. But now, inflation has gone too far: the price of ketchup and baked beans is rising with no signs of coming back down anytime soon.

Here’s everything you need to know about rising food prices, whether you can expect things to get back to normal and how to prepare for bigger bills at the supermarket.

What’s going on with inflation and ketchup?

Kraft Heinz has made a statement to the BBC about the increasing cost of the beloved red sauce, and they believe higher prices are here to stay.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the cost of baked beans is also set to head upwards. So it looks like beans on toast will no longer be the stereotypical cheap meal for students. What will replace this staple? That’s a serious debate for another time.

The company behind Heinz Ketchup has cited the following as reasons for inflated prices:

  • More expensive ingredient costs
  • Increasing production bills like higher wages and energy prices
  • Supply logistics struggling to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic

Will this inflation go away?

Many people, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, believe that these higher prices are transitory.

However, some aren’t so confident. Inflation can erupt due to a number of different reasons, and right now it seems like the world is being hit by just about every inflationary symptom you can think of. And it’s not just people being hypochondriacs.

The CEO of Kraft Heinz, Miguel Patricio, thinks things are only going to get worse. He believes that increasing global population and farmland limits are going to compound the problems we’re seeing right now.

What does this mean for food prices?

Many staple foods are actually commodities, and if these base ingredient prices rise, it increases the final cost of the foodstuff at the end of the supply chain.

Not all of the higher costs will make their way to you, but the majority probably will. There are hopes that improving technology will lead to cheaper and more efficient farming and therefore brings costs back down.

But this is still a work in progress, and you don’t want to base your household budget and finances on emerging tech that may or may not lower food prices at some point in the future.

How can you prepare for inflation and rising food prices?

Luckily, you’re not completely helpless or held to ransom by the ketchup mafia.

Food prices might be going up, but there are plenty of ways you can eat well for less. The big boss of Heinz won’t like me saying this, but for starters, you could try switching to non-brand ketchup and beans.

You’ll be surprised by how much you can lower your food shop costs by heading to cheaper supermarkets and avoiding the large brands as much as possible.

Outside reducing your spending, you may need to adjust your budget to account for rising prices. The inflation we’re seeing now may pass, but it might take a while. So make sure you’re on top of your finances and able to eat up some of the extra costs for the time being.

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