Retail Ireland statement following a special meeting of the Retail Forum
Following a special meeting of the Retail Forum, Retail Ireland Director Arnold Dillon said: “The retail sector fully appreciates the concerns of customers at the high levels of food inflation. Retailers are actively working to minimise the impact on consumers of massive EU-wide commodity price increases and this will continue. Specific pricing decisions are a matter for individual retailers, but intense competition in the sector will ensure that consumers benefit from falling commodity prices. This is happening already and will continue.
“Irish food inflation has been amongst the lowest in Europe over recent years. Average EU food inflation has been 27% over the last two years, in Ireland it was 17%. In the last year, average EU food inflation has been 19%, in Ireland it was 13%. Prior to the recent period of inflation, Irish food prices fell for over ten years, driven by intense price competition in the market.
“There is a significant lag in how energy and commodity cost increases translate into consumer prices. Retailers held off increasing prices for a long as possible last year, but could not absorb the massive cost increases indefinitely. We expect general inflation and food inflation to ease as we move through the year.”