Prices of rich tea biscuits soar by 160% as energy costs rise

Why you have to be rich to eat rich teas: Prices of rich tea biscuits soar by 160 per cent amid rising costs of energy and ingredients

  • The price of a digestive has also risen by 65% from £1.09 in 2016 to £1.80 today
  • Read more: Price of pasta DOUBLES in two years to 95p

The rich tea biscuit may soon live up to its name and become the preserve of the better-off – as prices have soared 160 per cent.

The rising cost of ingredients, manpower and energy means the price of the biscuit pack loved by Prince William has rocketed from 69p in 2016 to £1.80 now.

Research for The Mail on Sunday shows digestives’ price is up by 65 per cent from £1.09 to £1.80 over the same period.

Custard creams and bourbons are up 62 and 22 per cent respectively, while hobnobs are twice as dear as seven years ago.

Karen Betts, chief executive of the Food & Drink Federation, said: ‘All food suppliers have seen a massive increase in their input costs over the last couple of years.

The price of a pack of rich tea biscuits has rocketed from 69p in 2016 to £1.80 now

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‘These increases are rooted in disruption caused by Covid, the war in Ukraine and the costs of Brexit, as well as significant rises in the cost of ingredients, energy, transport, packaging and labour.’

Pladis, which owns McVitie’s, says the rocketing cost of ingredients is ‘unprecedented’.

Basic supplies like flour, sugar, raising agents and vegetable oil have increased in price by amounts not seen for 40 years.

Pladis has Europe’s biggest biscuit factory in Harlesden, North London, where 27 million rich tea biscuits are made daily.

The rich tea was developed in 1891 but is based on a recipe dating back 400 years.

In his book Notes from a Small Island, American travel writer Bill Bryson noted they taste ‘like something you would give a budgie to strengthen its beak’.

In 2011, Prince William ordered a ‘groom’s cake’ for his wedding reception made from 1,700 McVitie’s rich tea biscuits and 37lb of chocolate. He is believed to have loved rich teas as a child and munched on them with the Queen.

A Pladis spokesman said: ‘We know these are challenging times. But it remains important we do not compromise on quality and taste that our consumers love.’

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