Supermarket food prices surge, ONS data shows

Supermarket food prices surge, ONS data shows
The findings come amidst the ongoing cost of living crisis hitting the poorest in the UK

Supermarket grocery costs have surged with pasta up by 50 per cent since last year new ONS data shows.

The findings assessed the price of 30 everyday grocery shopping items between April 2021 and April 2022, finding varying increases across the items with five products showing a 15 per cent increase.

It comes as Russia’s blockade of Black Sea ports has left 25 million tonnes of grain stuck in Ukraine – threatening famine in the poorest countries, but with stark implications also for the UK, which relies on food imports.

In cash terms, the largest price rises, on average, were measured for beef mince and chicken breast which were up 32 pence for 500g and 28 pence for 600g respectively.

<p>The ONS assessed 30 common food items across supermarkets </p>

The ONS assessed 30 common food items across supermarkets

Below are the highlight price changes across the sample items:

Pasta

Pasta saw the fastest rate of increase in the year to April 2022 with a 50 per cent rise and 17 pence increase in real terms. According to the report, pasta was among the lower priced items that saw a price surge between November and December 2021 due to inflation. In those two months alone the price of pasta rose 32 per cent.

Crisps

Crisps saw the second fastest rate of increase in the year to April with a 17 per cent rise and 12 pence increase in cash terms rising from 71 pence in April 2021 to 83 pence in April 2022.

Crisps were also among the items hit hard by inflation in November 2021.

Bread

Bread, one of the most common items on the list, saw a price rate increase of 16 per cent in the year to April 2022. The war in Ukraine has had significant impacts on the cost of bread as grain exports from the war-torn nation have been impeded by Russian warships.

<p>Russia was accused of causing a food crisis by blocking Ukraine grain exports </p>

Russia was accused of causing a food crisis by blocking Ukraine grain exports

Mince Meat

In cash terms, the largest price rises, on average, were measured for beef mince up 32 pence for 500g to £2.34 and showing a price increase of 16 per cent in the year to April 2022.

Breakfast Cereal

Over the month from March to April 2022, the items that saw the largest increase in the lowest price were breakfast cereal up 6 per cent according to research.

The ONS also found evidence of ‘shrinkflation’ where the pack size of a product is reduced but it still costs the same. Additionally, it found evidence of sugar-free or low-salt versions of some lowest-cost items are often the same price as the standard versions of these products.

Potatoes

Spuds, on the other hand, saw the largest price drop in the year to April 2022 with a decrease of 12 pence to 75 pence for a 2.5kg bag – 14 per cent lower than in 2021.

Households can expect to spend an additional £271 on their groceries this year as the price of food increases at its fastest rate in 11 years, data from Kantar revealed last month.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “The average household will now be exposed to a potential price increase of £271 per year.”

He added that most of this spending is being allocated to non-discretionary, everyday essentials which will “prove difficult to cut back on as budgets are squeezed”.

McKevitt continued: “We’re seeing a clear flight to value as shoppers watch their pennies. The level of products bought on promotion, currently at 27.3 per cent, has decreased 2.7 percentage points as everyday low price strategies come to the fore.”

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