Overall foodservice price inflation reached 13.6% in March 2022, with prices in the oils & fats category up more than 50%, according to the latest CGA Prestige Foodservice Price Index.

The figure is the highest in the history of the index – up 3.4 percentage points in February 2022 – compared to 0.1% inflation in the same month last year.

Seven of the 10 categories measured in the Index were showing double-digit inflation in March this year, with five categories recording increases of more than 20%.

In addition to oils & fats, breads & cereals and fish have been heavily impacted by the war in Ukraine, which is traditionally a major supplier of oils and grains.

Further volatility in prices should be expected given that shortages are likely to last for some time.

Prestige Purchasing CEO Shaun Allen said: “The war between Russia and Ukraine looks likely to push inflation even higher in the coming months. This conflict is truly multidimensional.

It’s reduced production levels of food staples such as grains and oils, it’s driven up the cost of distribution by increasing oil prices, and it’s raised the cost of energy by restricting gas supplies.

“Inflation may calm later in the year, but prices are unlikely to fall for the foreseeable future.”

James Ashurst, client director at CGA said there was little sign of price increases easing in the foodservice sector. “While we hope for some respite as we go deeper into 2022, high inflation is going to be with us for some time to come.”