Supermarket own-label prices double in a year as Bank of England warns against 'greedflation'

22 March 2023, 05:57 | Updated: 22 March 2023, 08:24

Aldi and Lidl saw some of the biggest price increases over the last year
Aldi and Lidl saw some of the biggest price increases over the last year. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Thousands of own-label products at supermarkets across the UK have seen sharp price rises, with some doubling in a year, research suggests.

An analysis of more than 25,000 products by consumer magazine Which? reveals the annual inflation rate for food and drink items in February was 16.5 per cent.

Covering eight big supermarkets, the prices of budget range items rose by nearly 23 per cent on average, while own-brand items have increased by 19.7 per cent.

In contrast, premium supermarket labels have seen an increase of 13.8 per cent on average, while more established brands saw an increase of 13.3 per cent.

Research also shows that budget stores Lidl and Aldi remain the cheapest places to shop in the UK, but that has not exempted them from seeing the largest average annual price hikes.

Read More: Inflation unexpectedly leaps to 10.4% after food prices rise to highest level in 45 years

Aldi remains one of the cheapest supermarkets in the UK
Aldi remains one of the cheapest supermarkets in the UK. Picture: Getty

Prices were up 24.4 per cent at Lidl over the last year, while Aldi products saw an increase of 22.7 per cent.

Asda came in third with prices rising by 17 per cent, while it was 16.7 at Morrisons, 14.2 at Waitrose, 14.1 per cent at Sainsbury’s, 14 per cent at Tesco and 10.3 per cent at Ocado.

List of products that have doubled in price

Morrison's Free From cornflakes
Morrison's Free From cornflakes. Picture: Morrisons

Asda Free From Special Flakes (300g)

  • 2022: 62p
  • 2023:£1.43

Aldi Nature's Pick Honeydew Melon

  • 2022: 95p
  • 2023: £1.70

Lidl Chene D'argent Camembert (250g)

  • 2022: 99p
  • 2023: £2

Morrison’s Free From Corn Flakes (300g)

  • 2022: 80p
  • 2023:£1.77

Sainsbury’s Hubbard's Foodstore Water (2L)

  • 2022: 17p
  • 2023: 35p

Tesco Creamfields French Brie (200g)

  • 2022: 82p
  • 2023: £1.65

Waitrose Essential Italian Mozzarella Strength 1 (drained 150g)

  • 2022: 80p
  • 2023:£1.77
The Bank of England has warned companies not to rise prices simply due to the cost of living crisis
The Bank of England has warned companies not to rise prices simply due to the cost of living crisis. Picture: Getty

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Head of Food Policy at Which?, Sue Davies, said: "Worryingly our tracker shows that some everyday essentials have more than doubled in price over the last year - with cheaper own-brand items particularly hard hit.

"Supermarkets need to step up and ensure everyone has easy access to basic, affordable food ranges at a store near them, particularly in areas where people are most in need.

"Retailers must also provide transparent pricing so people can easily work out which products offer the best value."

It comes after the Bank of England warned against 'greedflation', which is when companies take advantage of the cost of living crisis by unduly increasing product prices.

But Lidl rejected Which?'s findings. A spokesperson said: "We are extremely concerned that since the launch of this ‘tracker’, Which? has consistently chosen to publish information that we, and other retailers, have confirmed to be incorrect."

Meanwhile, Aldi said it would always provide customers with the lowest prices, while Asda, Morrison’s, Waitrose, Ocado and Sainsbury’s cited the pressures of inflation, but said they were working to keep prices down for customers.

Morrisons pointed to the fact that it had recently reduced the price of 1,000 popular products, while Ocado said it was investing in price across branded and own-brand products, as reported in The Times.

Tesco did not respond.