Ex-Sainsbury’s CEO warns of double digit food inflation

Former Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King has warned the “we’re definitely going to see double digit food inflation” as the “worst is yet to come”.

Speaking on LBC, King forecasted “significant food price rises” amid the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) warnings that UK food inflation was likely to peak at 15% this summer and remain at high levels into next year.

“It was my view, expressed publicly 6 months ago when the Bank of England felt that it would be around 5 per cent and relatively short lived, that it would be closer to 10 per cent and long-lived, and I think we’re seeing that even I was under-calling it,” King said.

“We’re definitely going to see double digit food inflation, and I think very likely it will persist for a longer period of time than just a year or so.”

READ MORE: Unite urges for ‘profit restraint’ amid rising inflation

Additionally, the former CEO of the Big 4 grocer stated the weakness of the pound could be behind price rises as the UK purchases a lot of food in euros and dollars.

“The impacts of energy price rises, and the very sigsnificant impact on availability of core commodities such as oil and wheat, and so on… they haven’t found their way through the food price system yet,” he added.

The news comes as the UK hit a 40-year inflation high of 9% in April and is predicted to surpass 10% later this year.

“From our research, we’re unlikely to see the cost of living pressures easing anytime soon,” IGD chief economist James Walton said.

“We are already seeing households skipping meals – a clear indictor of food stress.”

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