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Grocery price inflation hits new record high

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The prices paid at supermarkets for groceries have jumped by 14.7% compared with the same period a year ago.

According to new data from Kantar, that 14.7% rate of inflation is the highest it has been since the research firm adopted its current methodology in 2008. What’s more, the firm warned that there may be further price rises, suggesting it was “too early right now to call the top”.

It noted that if consumers continue to buy the same items they face a jump in their annual grocery bill of £682. Kantar also reported that more than one in four (27%) households say they are now struggling financially, double the proportion recorded a year ago. Of this group, nine in ten said that the higher food and drink prices were a major concern, which was second only to energy bills.

Kantar’s study found that shoppers are adapting their purchases in order to give their finances some breathing space. It found that sales of own label items were up by 10.3% on the corresponding period last year, compared with a rise of just 0.4% for branded items.

This is reinforced by the increase in shoppers switching to deep discounters for their grocery needs. Aldi was the fastest growing supermarket over the period, with sales up by almost 23% on a year ago, while Lidl saw sales rise 21.5%.

‘Budget lines must be widely available’

Data from the Office for National Statistics last month found that the prices of some of the lowest cost food staples have jumped by more than 50%.

Sue Davies, head of food policy at Which?, said the rocketing price of food was a real concern, “with millions of people skipping meals or struggling to put health meals on the table”.

She continued: “It is essential that households get the support they need from the government and businesses amid the cost-of-living crisis.

“Supermarkets must ensure budget lines for healthy and affordable essential items are widely available across their stores. Promotions should be targeted at those most in need and people supported so they can easily compare the price of products to get the best value.”

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