UK food prices double – report
Food costs have continued to rise in Britain, with prices for some meat products, yogurt, and vegetables doubling over the past year, according to the latest findings from the ‘Which?’ consumer insight tracker.
The monthly survey commissioned by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) revealed on Tuesday that inflation in categories that have previously experienced the sharpest increases – including milk, butter, spreads, and bakery items – has eased slightly, but other essential food groups have continued to rise month to month.
The firm’s April analysis on more than 26,000 food and drink products at eight major supermarkets showed that, on average, the cost of meat, fish, yogurt, and vegetables rose 15%, 16.5%, 21.8%, and 15.3%, respectively.
“Looking at averages across a longer three-month period, we found some examples of individual items doubling in price in the space of a year,” the report said.
At Asda, Morliny Frankfurters (350g) rose from an average of £1.25 ($1.56) to £2.42 ($3.03), a 93.8% increase on a year ago. A pack of four brown onions at Morrisons rose from 65 pence to £1.24, in a more than 90% rise over 12 months.
Meanwhile, the price of Aberdoyle Dairies Natural Cottage Cheese at Lidl skyrocketed from 67 pence in 2022 to £1.34 this year, representing a 100.9% increase.
“These examples of massive supermarket price hikes on some common food types show how difficult it is, particularly for customers on low incomes, to maintain a healthy diet,” the researcher stated. “Other food categories where inflation continued to rise month on month included juice, chocolate, water, fish, chilled ready meals and cheese.”
The agency called on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to intervene on behalf of struggling consumers, given that its latest data shows that food inflation remains at “shockingly high levels.”
“It’s very alarming to see products such as meat, cheese and vegetables that people rely on still rapidly soaring in price,” said Sue Davies, the head of food policy at ‘Which?’. “Supermarkets must also provide transparent pricing so people can easily work out which products offer the best value,” Davies added.
Official figures indicated that the rate of inflation in Britain eased slightly last month but still remains above 10%, with food and drink costs at a 45-year high.
The Bank of England’s chief economist, Huw Pill, stated in late April that British households and businesses needed to accept that they were poorer and should stop asking for wage increases and pushing prices higher.
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