UK food prices soaring
Britain’s cost of living crisis is worsening, with food inflation hitting the highest level since the 2008 financial crisis. Grocery costs climbed by 12.4% in the year leading up to August, market research firm Kantar reported on Tuesday.
“The latest figure means that the average annual grocery bill will go from £4,610 ($5,410) to £5,181 ($6,080) if consumers don’t make changes to what they buy and how they shop to cut costs”, the report stated.
The sharp increase will push the average annual household bill up by £572 ($670), at a time when cash-strapped families are already trying to cope with soaring energy bills.
“It seems there’s no end in sight to grocery inflation, as the rate at which food and drink prices are increasing continues to accelerate”, Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said.
Milk, butter and dog food are among the goods most affected by inflation, with prices going up by 31%, 25% and 29% respectively in the four weeks to September 4 compared with the previous year.
“In what is a fiercely competitive sector, supermarkets are reacting to make sure they’re seen to acknowledge the challenges consumers are facing and offer best value, in particular by expanding their own-label ranges,” McKevitt noted.
This comes as shoppers are forced to switch to discounters and buy more own-label products versus branded ones. According to the report, sales of the cheapest own-label products were up by 33% compared with last year.
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