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Budget food price inflation outstrips premium brands

Households relying on own-brand supermarket ranges have suffered higher price hikes on their favourite item than those who purchase premium goods.

Own brand and budget lines have risen in price on average by as much as 18% year on year compared to 13% for premium own brands and 12% for branded food, according to research by consumer champion Which?.

Which? tracked the annual inflation of tens of thousands of food and drink items across seven months at Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose to see how inflation was impacting the price of everyday products.

The biggest budget price rises year on year were recorded for Tesco’s Creamfields soft cheese (200g) which increased by 72% from 49p to 84p and Sainsbury’s Simply muesli (1kg) which rose 70% from £1.20 to £2.03.

Also appearing in the 20 worst budget items for inflation across the supermarkets was Tesco’s Hearty Food Co. garlic chicken kievs and Growers Harvest orange juice rising more than 60% in price over the year.

Sainsbury’s Hubbard’s Foodstore two-litre bottles of sparkling and still waters, J James & Family Fresh British chicken breaded kievs with garlic butter and Mary Ann’s Dairy soft cheese 200g have increased by more than 50% over the 12-month period.

Budget food prices are soaring

The cost of mid-priced own-brand products have risen the most. Waitrose chocolate chip shortbread almost tripled in price going from 82p to £2.25 year-on-year, an increase of 175%. However, Waitrose had some of the lowest inflation overall.

The second biggest increase on a single mid-priced own-brand product was Asda’s chilli con carne ready meal that went from £1.20 to £2.79 – a 132% increase.

The worst supermarkets for overall inflation on food and drink year on year were Aldi with average price rises of 19.6% and Lidl at 19%.

Both discounters were still the cheapest of the big supermarket chains to shop in overall.

Sue Davies, Which? head of food policy, said: “Our inflation tracker lays bare the shocking scale of soaring food and drink prices – including on budget and own-brand products.

“We know the big supermarkets have the ability to take action and make a real difference to people struggling through the worst cost of living crisis in decades. That’s why we’re calling on them to ensure everyone has easy access to basic, affordable food lines at a store near them, can easily compare the price of products to get the best value and that promotions are targeted at supporting people most in need.”

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