Transport costs bite consumers


Few people are familiar with locust bean gum. So they might be surprised to find that this is the product responsible for ice cream, among other products, getting more expensive.

Locust bean gum, a thickening agent widely used in the food industry, is produced from carob seeds. Recently, its price shot up to a record €30 per kilo; sometimes, the price is upwardly adjusted twice daily.

This is an extreme case but one example among many of recent disruption in supply chains, starting with spiking transport costs that influence raw material prices.

This process is already affecting households and is expected to continue to do so. It has contributed, for example, to considerably more expensive natural gas, whose price shot up 72.3% year-on-year in July. Other fuels have gone up significantly, although not nearly as much as natural gas.