Tue, 28 Jun 2022

Food staples up 20% in UK, says report

Robert Besser
23 May 2022, 16:58 GMT+10

LONDON, England: A review of UK grocery prices shows that hundreds of staple foods have increased in price by at least 20 percent in the two year period prior to Russia's war in Ukraine.

The consumer group Which? has published results of an investigation in which it said that shoppers are seeing fewer discounts and ranges in product values.

The review covered the average prices at eight major grocery chains in the UK, monitoring 21,000 grocery items over the 24 months to February 2022. Of note, it found that 265 items had soared in cost by more than 20 percent.

Grocery products have seen a surge during the last year due to disruptions in global supply chains.

Organization officials pointed to inflation being aggravated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine at the end of February, which resulted in important commodities, such as wheat, increasing in price.

Rising energy costs have also resulted in increased grocery prices, with the annual rate of food and drink inflation in the UK reaching 6.7 percent in April.

As the overall inflation rate has reached a 40-year high of 9 percent, with household energy and fuel bills rising to record levels, the cost of all retail products have risen.

Which? also said that those grocery products with the lowest inflation rate were chocolate, fresh fruit, biscuits and vegetables.

Another concern for consumers is a trend in which prices of packaged goods remain the same, while quantities within the packages being sold are reduced.

Also, as prices rose the frequency of promotions fell across every one of the 20 categories being studied.

The study also found that budget own-brand items were increasingly unavailable to consumers.

"Our research reveals that eye-watering price rises are being exacerbated by practices like shrinkflation and limited availability of all-important budget ranges - and these factors are combining to put huge pressure on household shopping budgets," said Sue Davies, of Which?, as quoted by Sky News.

Meanwhile, a Tesco spokesman said, "We are committed to providing great value for our customers, whether it's promising 'Low Everyday Prices' on 1,600 staples, price matching around 650 basics to Aldi prices, or offering exclusive deals and rewards through thousands of Clubcard prices."

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