A hard Brexit with no deal might well hit sandwich prices. This is because of unavoidable issues in the supply chain of certain foodstuff categories that would lead to price rises for certain types of food. Among these are salad ingredients, chicken and other popular sandwich fillings that would leave the sandwich industry exposed to shortages or significant price increases.
Hard Brexit Becoming More Likely
It is becoming increasingly more likely that negotiations, or the lack of them, will result in a hard Brexit with no deal acceptable to both the EU and the UK. In such a case it is almost certain that the UK will lose out with increased prices in certain sectors. It is becoming increasingly obvious that certain bodies are now planning for a ‘no Brexit deal’ outcome. UK government ministers are continuing to maintain their optimism that a mutually acceptable deal will be struck. However, that is not the way that EU negotiators are looking at it.
Foodstuff Stockpiling and Sandwich Prices
What goes between two slices of bread is more important than the bread itself. The image of foodstuff stockpiling by the UK government is no longer implausible. In fact, it is becoming increasingly more likely that the illusion of warehouses full of lettuce, tomatoes, chicken and mayonnaise will be more than just a mirage of the mind. The chimera is no longer a fantasy, but a potential reality.
So what would be the result of this other than increased sandwich prices? A hard Brexit would benefit nobody, yet both sides recently appear set on making that the likely outcome of negotiations – although there appears to be little negotiating and more demands being made by each side of the English Channel.
Sandwich Prices and the Food Supply Chain
That said, the likelihood of food stockpiling is a very low one. There is insufficient slack in the food supply chain to enable this to be feasible. A hard Brexit may hit sandwich prices, but it would not be a consequence that could easily be avoided. Certainly not by stockpiling what are generally perishable goods! It is possible for the UK to extend Article 50. This would take pressure off price increases, though increase the pressure on politicians.
A hard Brexit or even no Brexit deal at all could hit food prices hard. However, it’s unlikely for issues with the food supply chain to significantly increase sandwich prices. Greggs would not allow it!