Annual grocery bills rise £811 as food inflation soars to record 17.1 per cent

28 February 2023, 11:55

Woman in supermarket as food inflation hits record high
Woman in supermarket as food inflation hits record high. Picture: Alamy

By StephenRigley

Grocery price inflation has reached a record 17.1% adding a potential £811 to annual household shopping bills, figures show.

Kantar Worldpanel reported that the increase over the past 12 months meant that hard-pressed families have seen a massive hike in the cost of their regular shopping basket.

It had been hoped that a decline in the pace of grocery prices during December would mark a turning point in that element of the cost of living crisis.

However cost-of-living pressures failed to dent enthusiasm for Valentine’s Day celebrations this year, with sales of steak up by a quarter in the seven days to February 14 compared to the previous week, sparkling wine sales doubling and shoppers spending an extra £5 million on boxed chocolates.

February also saw sales of cold treatments rising by 82%, cough liquids up 78% and cough lozenges 70% higher.

Kantar said it was closely following the impact of vegetable and fruit shortages on sales in the coming weeks, although it noted that the pack limits introduced by some supermarkets were unlikely to affect consumers as they usually bought fresh items in smaller quantities.

Shoppers face an £800 hike in their annual shopping baskets
Shoppers face an £800 hike in their annual shopping baskets. Picture: Alamy

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Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “Shoppers have been facing sustained price rises for some time now and this February marks a full year since monthly grocery inflation climbed above 4%. This is having a big impact on people’s lives.

“Our latest research shows that grocery price inflation is the second most important financial issue for the public behind energy costs, with two thirds of people concerned by food and drink prices, above public sector strikes and climate change.

“One quarter say they’re struggling financially, versus one in five this time last year. The numbers speak for themselves.”

Aldi’s market share reached a record 9.4% and remains the fastest growing grocer, with sales up by 26.7%.It was closely followed by Lidl, which increased sales by 25.4% and achieved a market share of 7.1%.

Frozen food specialist Iceland increased its market share to 2.4%, up from 2.3% last year, as spending through its tills increased by 10.8%.

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