Aussies will be picking up the tab as rising gas prices push up the prices of some of the nation’s favourite chips.
Snack Brands Australia CEO Paul Musgrave, who oversees brands like Cheezels, Kettle, CC’s and Thins, revealed that the company’s gas bill had soared from roughly $3 million per year to $9 million.
He confirmed to Ben Fordham on 2GB this morning that the 200 per cent increase meant consumers could expect a 30c to 50c increase in the price of its chips in the next year.
“Because gas prices are going up – and they’re a really significant price rise – but they’re not the only cost pressure business,” Mr Musgrave said.
“So we’re going to have to take a price rise early in the new year to cover the cost of gas and also the agricultural products that we buy – like corn and potatoes – because all those things have skyrocketed as well.
“(The rise is) going to look somewhere like 30 to 50 cents a bag of potato chips in the new year.”
He said about half of the price increase would be due to gas price increases which, according to Mr Musgrave, powers half of Snackbrands’ energy needs.
The electricity bill has also gone from $2 million to $3 million per year.
Ironically, hundreds of the producer’s workers live and work in federal energy minister Chris Bowen’s electorate, with Mr Musgrave saying the door would be left open if the minister would like to drop in.
“It’d be nice to have a chat to Chris, and 300 of our 600 employees, living in his electorate, they’d like to have a chat to him as well,” he said.
As for whether or not Snack Brands could face cutting its workforce, Mr Musgrave said: “We’re not looking to do that.
“The downside is we really don’t want to pass on pricing to customers. It’s not something we’re about.”
CC’s, Kettle, Thins, Samboys, Natural Chip Co and Authentic French Fries are among the brands impacted by the price rise.
Rising food costs are already a significant contributing factor to the 7.3 per cent rise in inflation recorded in October.