Economy

Brands from Heinz soup to Hellmans hike prices by up to 73%

The consumer giants behind some of Britain’s favourite brands – from Heinz baked beans to Head & Shoulders shampoo – have been accused of greed and profiteering after hitting shoppers with huge price hikes while raking in bumper profits.

Hard-pressed families have been hit by inflation-busting rises on products such as Heinz tomato soup – which rocketed 73 per cent from 98p a can to £1.70 in a year – while the multi-national firms behind them are making billions.

The Mail on Sunday can reveal that seven of the biggest consumer businesses are about to unveil combined profits of £50 billion for 2022 – £2 billion more than the previous year.

Yet they have imposed big price rises at the checkout, such as Unilever hiking the price of Hellmann’s mayonnaise by 42 per cent from £1.75 to £2.49; Procter & Gamble’s Head & Shoulders shampoo rising 21 per cent from £2.33 to £2.83 and Heinz baked beans soaring 35 per cent from £1 to £1.35.

Such rises open firms up to accusations of ‘greedflation’ – using the cost-of-living crisis as a cover for hiking prices more than necessary.

Consumer champion Baroness Ros Altmann said: ‘To any normal consumer, this looks like greed and it needs an explanation. It feels like they are charging however much they can get away with.

‘There should be a CMA [Competition and Markets Authority] investigation into what is going on. If we want to control inflation, there is going to have to be an investigation into prices.’

Sir Chris Bryant, the veteran Labour MP, said: ‘Under cover of the cost-of-living crisis, these companies seem to be engaged in shameless profiteering. It’s time they eased off the greedy pedal and gave consumers a better deal.’

Source of data and images: dailymail

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