The price of locally sourced cakes, quiches and ice creams is being forced upwards following a steep hike in the cost of eggs.
The rise follows an EU ban on battery cages, which has resulted in a fall in UK production levels and a slump in supply to the UK since its introduction in January.
The impact of the shortages, and resultant price hikes, are being felt across the industry, with the cost of whole pasteurised liquidised egg for use in food manufacturing soaring by 85% since the beginning of 2012, while shell egg prices are up 98%, according to latest data from Mintec.
While some of the UK’s larger manufacturers are attempting to absorb the price hikes for now, this is impossible for many of the UK’s smaller artisan manufacturers.
“Small producers are already working with incredibly tight margins, leaving them with no choice but to pass the increased costs of production straight on to retailers. It’s non-negotiable - the invoices are just going up,” local food and marketing expert Stephanie Rice told Convenience Store.
Simon Biddle of Biddles Convenience Store in Redditch, Worcestershire, said the price rises were already affecting his margins.
In addition to selling eggs in his store, Simon also offers a wide range of homemade foods, which are costing him much more to produce. “The cost of eggs has doubled since the start of the year and it’s affecting me across the board. I’m now paying £46 for a box of 30 dozen eggs. Two months ago the same amount cost me just £25.
“At the moment I’m absorbing the rises and have not yet passed the increase on to my shoppers, but I won’t be able to do it forever,” he said. “It’s yet another cost rise at a time when I can least afford it.”