Wed, 17 May 2023 at 10:32 am BST
The price of food has shot up over the past few months as Britons continue to feel the pinch of the cost of living crisis.
Analysis from Which? of April prices on more than 26,000 food and drink products at Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose found inflation in categories that have previously seen the highest rises – including milk, butters and spreads and bakery items – has eased slightly.
But Which? said food inflation remained at “shockingly high levels” and urged prime minister Rishi Sunak to intervene on behalf of struggling consumers.
The cost of a weekly shop at the local supermarket is certainly going up.
According to figures from the Trolley.co.uk Grocery Price Index (GPI) prices at the Co-op increased more than any other supermarket – up 5.6% over the past year and an average increase of 51p across its products
Only Aldi and Ocado saw a reduction in prices in the same period.
Percentage price rises of the UK’s major supermarkets between May 2022 and May 2023:
- Co-op: 5.6%
- Sainsbury’s: 3.9%
- Iceland: 3.9%
- Morrisons: 2.8%
- Asda: 2%
- Tesco: 1.6%
- Waitrose: 0.1%
- Ocado: -0.8%
- Aldi: -1.4%
The Which? analysis found that some meat, yoghurt and vegetables are among items that have doubled in price compared to a year ago.
They called on the PM to challenge supermarket chiefs to take urgent action to help consumers cope with “rampant” food price increases by ensuring that smaller convenience stores stocked a range of essential budget lines that support a healthy diet, especially in areas where they are most needed.
It has also called for supermarkets to commit to clearer unit pricing, especially on promotions and loyalty card offers, so that people can easily work out which products offer the best value.
Sue Davies, Which? head of food policy, said: “It’s very alarming to see products such as meat, cheese and vegetables that people rely on still rapidly soaring in price.
“As the prime minister gathers supermarket bosses today to discuss the problem of inflation, we urge him to ask supermarkets to commit to do much more, including stocking budget lines in convenience stores to ensure easy access to basic, affordable food ranges that support a healthy diet, particularly in areas where people are most in need.”
Despite the ongoing high prices, Tesco has announced another round of price cuts on its own-brand pasta and cooking oil as it sees deflation making its way through to cupboard essentials.
The UK’s biggest supermarket is dropping the price of 30 products, with 15p off 500g and 1kg packs of own-brand pasta, 14p off its one litre vegetable oil and 15p off its one litre sunflower oil.
It follows a number of supermarkets dropping the price of some lines of bread and butter last week in response to falling commodity prices.
Sainsbury’s and Tesco also recently cut the price of milk by at least 5p, followed by Aldi, Lidl and Asda.
The cuts come as grocery inflation leapt by more than 19% in March compared with a year ago, as energy and supply chain costs were passed on to shoppers.
Yahoo News UK has contacted Co-op for a response to the figures.