Branston Pickle Maker Forced to Make ‘Unprecedented Price Increases’

After manufacturing costs skyrocketed, Branston Pickle was forced to increase prices in an “unprecedented way”.

Mizkan Euro which sells Sarson’s Vinegar and the staple of Ploughman’s Lunch, has said that in its newly filed accounts, the business is affected by the rising cost for energy, as well as packaging.

The price of Branson pickle has risen by 40pc in some stores. A 360g jar at Tesco went from £1.50 up to £2.10 in the last two years.

Although the price of products on supermarket shelves are ultimately determined by retailers, suppliers such as Mizkan Euro will usually provide a suggested price.

In the last two years, food manufacturers in the UK and Europe have been forced to pay more for fuel, ingredients and labor as well as packaging.

Ichiro Nishikura is the chief executive of Mizkan Euro. He said that some cost increases are linked to the high gas prices following Russia’s invasion in Ukraine.

He said that the company had been “impacted by the tail-end of the Covid pandemic, and structural supply chain issues following Brexit”.

He also pointed out the recent increase in the prices of vegetables and grains as well as rising labor costs “internally as well as at all our suppliers”.

He said: “These factors created a perfect storm, which unfortunately forced the company to raise its selling prices in unprecedented amounts.”

Branston Pickle is a pickle that was introduced by Crosse & Blackwell, in 1922.

The village where it was first manufactured, Branston in Staffordshire, is the name of this product. It is said that the founders of the company created it accidentally during experiments using excess fruits and vegetables.

This condiment is a mix of pickled diced veggies such as swede carrots, onions and cauliflower. It’s commonly served as part of a Ploughman’s Lunch.

Mizkan Euro acquired the business in 2013 from Premier Foods, which is the parent company to Mr Kipling.

One in three UK households buys 17 m jars a year.

Branston Pickle’s price increase comes at a time when Mizkan Euro has suffered a £$13m loss before tax in the twelve months up to February. This is up from $2.3m in the previous year.

The revenues rose 4.6pc, to £104.1m.

Mr Nishikura stated that the company stopped providing goods to Russia in 2020, which affected its revenues by approximately £1.3m.

Mizkan Euro’s spokesperson said: “Given that the global pandemic followed closely by inflation and the increased costs of raw materials and energy, we, at Mizkan Euro have had to regretfully share these cost increases with customers, just like millions of others.”

“Mizkan Euro does not set the retail recommended price. This is determined by the retailers.”

“The financial performance of the financial year ending February 28, 2023, has been impacted by our requirement to write off the value of intangible assets. This was a direct result of the higher interest rates.

The company’s underlying trading performance remains strong, and the outlook is positive for the future.