Food price alert: Up to a 5% increase in bills is on the way.

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MILLIONS will see the cost of their weekly shop rocket as a food boss warned families to get used to paying more at the tills.

The stark wake-up call from Miguel Patricio, the chief of Kraft Heinz, came as stores moved to hike the price of essentials like baked beans, bread and coffee by five percent. In a worst-case scenario, a further rise in January could tip inflation above 10 percent.

Mr Patricio said yesterday: “We are raising prices, where necessary, around the world.”

He said flashpoints contributing to the rising cost of food were “specifically in the UK, the lack of truck drivers”.

He added: “In [the]US logistic costs also increased substantially, and there’s a shortage of labour in certain areas of the economy”.

Experts say people will have to find an extra £500 to limp through winter, following a perfect storm of supply issues and rising energy costs.

By the end of the year, a typical family of four could be £1,800 worse off, says the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

Mr Patricio, whose company makes ketchup and baked beans, said higher food prices were here to stay because the world’s population is rising but the amount of land on which to grow food is not.

But he also said firms would have to absorb some of the cost rises, adding: “I think it’s up to us and to the industry and to the other companies to try to minimise these price increases.”

He said in the longer term, technology would help farmers and not all cost increases should be passed on to consumers.

Prices of staples including ketchup, cooking oil, cereals and drinks are set to soar. If the cost of a £1 loaf rises by 10p, then bread inflation is 10 percent.

David Sables, of Sentinel Management Consultants, said: “Shelf prices will go up five percent, but it won’t be enough.

“Retailers will communicate an additional four to five percent price increase which will go through in January.

“Across the next six to eight weeks I would expect to see something like five percent [increases].

“There is a chance now that when you add in extra fuel hikes and the CO2 issue, that hits prices as well. It may be that suppliers go a second time on their prices after Christmas.”

Britain is already reeling from mounting costs blamed. “Brinkwire Summary News”.

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