Tesco boss warns ‘worst is still to come’ for food prices amid cost of living crisis

The ‘worst is still to come’, the boss of Tesco has warned shoppers today amid the growing cost of living crisis across the UK.

Supermarket chairman John Allan said food prices in stores rose by one per cent in the last quarter.

Mr Allan has anticipated this is likely to rise even further in the spring, with the cost of food items soaring by a further five per cent, the Mirror reports.

Speaking to the BBC’s Sunday Morning show, the supermarket boss said Tesco tries to lower the price of some items whenever it can – he went on to reference the price of the cheapest tin of beans, which is now 22p compared to 25p five years ago.

But Mr Allan was challenged on the rising profits Tesco is set to make, with forecasts suggesting that it could be more than £2.5 billion for the year in October.

When addressing the impact that the price hike could have on poorer shoppers, he said: “In some ways the worst is still to come – because although food price inflation in Tesco last quarter was only one per cent, we are impacted by rising energy prices. Our suppliers are impacted by rising energy prices.

“The likelihood is that inflation figure will rise. We’re doing all we can to offset it.”

John Allan
John Allan

He added: “I predicted last autumn that food prices by the spring might be rising at about five per cent.

“I sincerely believe it’s not going to be any more than that, it might even be slightly less.

“But that’s the sort of number we’re talking about. Of course, five per cent – if you’re spending, as some of the least well-off families are spending, 15 per cent of household income is significant.

“It troubles us and I’m sure troubles many people that people may have to struggle to choose between heating their homes and feeding their families.

“That’s clear not a situation any of us should tolerate.”

Earlier this week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced £290 million of funding to the Scottish Government to offset the huge rise in energy bills.

It came after the announcement of a 54 per cent rise in the price cap on energy, which will come into force from this April.

The Scottish Government is expected to announce what it will do with the funding in the coming days.

Mr Sunak also announced a £200 loan, which was branded by the Tory government as a ‘rebate’, to help Scots with their household bills amid the price hike.

Consumers will have to repay the ‘rebate’ at £40 per year for the next five years, even as gas and electricity costs are expected to increase further.

Citizens Advice Scotland have said that the rising energy costs could leave half a million Scots cutting back on food to pay for their bills.

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