Morrisons has started charging more for a jar of Marmite. The UK's fourth-largest supermarket chain has become the first major retailer to increase the price of the salty British toast spread.
According to various news reports published on Friday, Morrisons had increased the price of this Unilever product by 12.5%. It is now charging £2.64 ($3.22) for a 250g Marmite jar.
This hike comes just weeks after Tesco pulled Marmite and other Unilever brands from its stores amid a price row. The supermarket giant had taken popular brands like Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Persil cleaning products off their website following a reported disagreement about who should bear the cost of the weakening pound.
Amid the sterling losing more than 15% of its value since the June referendum, many manufacturers have said this has affected the cost of their products as they have to now pay more for goods, ingredients and packaging that is imported from outside the UK. Many manufacturers have hence said in recent times that they could increase the selling prices of its products to offset these higher input costs.
Unilever is one such British manufacturer. It is said to have been trying to increase the selling price of its products by an average of 10%. While the Unilever-Tesco spat is said to have ended after the former compromised by reducing the price at which the products are sold to it, the hike by Morrisons indicates that Unilever might have lost the battle, but has won the war, according to The Guardian.
Just hours after the Morrisons-Marmite news, the BBC reported that Typhoo, the UK's third largest tea brand would also increase the price of its products amid the decline in the value of the sterling. Somnath Saha, CEO at Typhoo, said its input costs had increased between £250,000 and £300,000 per month and as a result it had to increase its selling prices.
"This is an absolute disaster for a company the size of ours. The very sharp fall in the pound means the impact is at least a quarter of a million pounds a month for us. This is having a very negative impact on our business and we are really suffering. It's now come to a point where it's not sustainable for us," Saha said.
These hikes follow Mark Carney saying earlier this month that food prices will continue to rise. The Bank of England governor had said that inflation will increase on products such as food and fuel because of the decline in the value of the pound.