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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Muesli price jumps by fifth in year

The cost of a bowl of muesli has jumped a fifth in a year as the prices of hazelnuts and almonds soared, market researchers have found.

Boxes of Alpen are up by 24p and Dorset Cereals have increased in cost by 47p, according to a survey published in The Grocer magazine.

Researchers blamed the increasing cost of raw ingredients, with the average wholesale price of a tonne of muesli rising by 56 per cent to £608.80 in the past three years.

The price is up 13 per cent on the end of 2010 and 1.2 per cent year-on-year, the survey found.

The biggest single increase was in the cost of almonds, which rose 38.6 per cent year-on-year to £2,404 per tonne, while the price of a tonne of whey powder was up 35.7 per cent to £760 and hazelnuts increased by 32.6 per cent to £5,624 during the same period.

These increases were partially offset by a reduction in the cost of wheat, skimmed milk powder and raisins which fell by 22.2 per cent, 16.5 per cent and 6.8 per cent respectively year-on-year.

Manufacturers could reduce the damage of the overall price rise by altering their recipes, The Grocer suggested, but if core ingredients become more expensive over a long period there would be a limit to how much they could do.

The impact is already being felt in supermarkets, the report said, with a 750g box of Alpen Original now costing £2.60, 24p more than this time last year.

An 850g pack of Dorset Cereals Simply Delicious Muesli has risen by 21 per cent from £2.26 to £2.73 during the same period, analysts said.

Nick Barnard, co-founder of breakfast cereal maker Rude Health, said muesli manufacturers were feeling the effect of higher ingredient prices, with oats a particular concern having risen 4.2 per cent to £187.5 per tonne.

He said: "Oats are in increased demand to fulfil the growth in porridge and granola. All the oats in our muesli and porridge are organic – prices have risen and we expect them to continue to."

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