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UK supermarkets hire “meat monitors” due to spike in shoplifting

2022-09-23 foodingredientsfirst



Historically high inflation is leading to a rise in thefts in UK supermarkets wher shoplifters are targeting meat. The recent increase in theft from the shelves has led some stores  hiring “meat monitors”.


Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has reported a sharp increase in shoplifting in local supermarkets.

Robyn Bunyan, Maidenhead town manager,  says that stores are aware that, due to the price increases, “at some point, people will just walk in and take what they want.”

FoodIngredientsFirst has reached out to relevant UK-based supermarkets. However, they are yet to respond. 

Security tagged cheese
UK supermarket shoppers have been shocked in recent months to discover security tagging on cheese, butter and other packaged foods as inflation takes product prices to record highs.

While major retailers have denied that the additional packaging security represents a knee-jerk reaction to recently-elevated pricing, instead pointing to longer-term theft-prevention tactics, consumers have taken to social media to portray hard-lock tags on supermarket-brand cheddar and other everyday foods as symbolic of the cost of living crisis. 

UK’s food inflation rose for the 13th consecutive month reaching 13.1%.UK food inflation
UK general inflation rate is hovering in the double digits, with the consumer price index situated at 9.9% in August, according to estimates of the UK Office for National Statistics.

Food inflation rose for the 13th consecutive month to 13.1%, reaching the highest level since the 2008 crisis.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages are increasing in prices at the fastest rate in this century, with the rise from July to August being the steepest monthly increase (1.5%) since 1995. Food inflation is driven by commodities such as milk, cheese and eggs.

The dairy sector inflation is driven by dwindling global stocks, labor losses and sustained consumer demand even at higher prices.

Meat prices
Global meat commodity prices continued to show some positive signs, with prices easing 1.5% in July, the second consecutive monthly decline after meat prices reached an all-time high in June 2022. Meat prices remain 8.2% higher than one year ago, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

“In August, international quotations for poultry meat fell, driven by lower import purchases by leading importers and somewhat elevated global export availabilities. Meanwhile, world bovine meat prices declined on weak domestic demand in some leading exporting countries, raising export supplies, and a modest increase in Australian supplies,” explains FAO. 

“By contrast, price quotations for pig meat rose due to the continued low supply of slaughter-ready pigs, while ovine meat prices recovered moderately, owing to increased import demand from some European countries, compensating for lower purchases by China,” continues the organization.


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