Soaring cost of food revealed as bread and crisps rise and pasta soars by 50%

30 May 2022, 13:25

Supermarket food prices have surged over the last year
Supermarket food prices have surged over the last year. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

The surge in supermarket food prices over the last year has been revealed as households grapple with runaway inflation.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) statistics show the cheapest food items on supermarket shelves have soared in price between April last year and April this year.

The cheapest pasta in the UK jumped in cost by a shocking 50% during that time.

READ MORE: Shop prices rise at highest rate in more than a decade

READ MORE: Inflation at highest level in 30 years as cost of living soars

It comes as experts warn the poorest households in the country are bearing the brunt of the cost of living crisis.

Statisticians chose 30 everyday items they know the least well-off households regularly buy to get an idea of how inflation is hitting these households.

They trained algorithms to select the cheapest possible alternatives on the websites of Asda, the Co-op, Iceland, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose, and tracked its price over the year.

Despite Aldi and Lidl being among the cheapest supermarkets in the country they were not included as they do not allow customers to shop online.

The data found pasta prices rose at the fastest rate, followed by crisps (17%), bread (16%), minced beef (16%) and rice (15%).

The UK's high inflation will not last 'very long'

Falls were seen in the price of potatoes (14%), cheese (7%), pizza (4%), chips (3%), sausages (3%) and apples (1%).

While inflation hit a 40-year high of 9% in April as measured by the Consumer Prices Index, those who are least well off spend a larger proportion of their income on the basics, such as energy bills.

As a result, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has suggested that inflation for the poorest households ran at 10.9% in the year to April.

The latest ONS analysis indicates that, at least for the 30 items it chose, inflation for the cheapest alternatives has been running similar to overall food and alcohol prices, increasing by between 6% and 7%.

However, it does not take into account the costs associated with buying a product. For instance, potato prices have dropped significantly over the last year, but many struggling households avoid potatoes, because they take longer to boil than alternatives and therefore use more expensive gas.

Cost of living crisis: James O'Brien speaks to Lord O'Neill

In March, the boss of Iceland said that some food bank users were turning down potatoes and other root vegetables because they could not afford to boil them.

The ONS acknowledged that the research it has done is "highly experimental".

It warned that because the analysis only focuses on the lowest-priced goods the estimates are based on a very small number of price quotes. This means the data is very sensitive to changes in just one item.

It also does not mitigate the concerns of food campaigner Jack Monroe who has criticised supermarkets for allegedly limiting access to their cheapest products in store.

"The available products represent the retailer's online catalogue, rather than the range of products available or bought in local stores that month," the ONS said.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

The pair speak about their relationship in the new doc.

Jennifer Lopez reveals reason she and husband Ben Affleck rekindled romance after years apart

Some of the renovation requests on his £7m home have been rejected.

Gordon Ramsay faces renovation setback on £7m home as council rejects chef's bid for new security gates

Salvatore Mancuso

Warlord Mancuso is extradited back to Colombia after serving sentence in US

Jam Master Jay

Godson and friend convicted in murder of Run-DMC rapper Jam Master Jay

Two men have been convicted over the murder of Jam Master Jay.

Two men found guilty of Run-DMC star Jam Master Jay's murder

Jair Bolsonaro

Bolsonaro under investigation for allegedly harassing a humpback whale

A lawyer who represented 'murdered' Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny has been arrested in Moscow, Russian news has reported

Navalny's lawyer 'arrested in Moscow' after helping Russian opposition leader's mother obtain body from authorities

Former Tory MP Scott Benton has been suspended from the Commons.

Former Tory MP suspended from Commons over role in lobbying sting as Rishi Sunak faces fresh by-election headache

PlayStation is closing its London studio and axing 900 jobs (file image)

PlayStation to axe 900 jobs and close London studio to 'future ready' itself

Zelensky and Mohammed bin Salman

Zelensky meets Saudi crown prince to discuss peace deal and return of POWs

Lady Gabriella Windsor's husband Thomas Kingston has died aged 45

Royal family mourns as Lady Gabriella Windsor's husband Thomas Kingston dies aged 45

Mr Scully apologised for his comments.

'I'm sorry I chose those words': Tory MP Paul Scully apologises after claiming there were 'no-go areas' in some cities

Michael Holt, 54, from the Wirral, was found dead in the boat 700 miles into the charity challenge off the coast of Cape Verde, west Africa

Fundraiser launched to return home British father found dead on boat four weeks into 3,000-mile Atlantic ocean row

A remote track near Pitilie

Murder probe launched after former groundsman shot dead while walking his dog on Scottish estate

David Shuttleworth and Matthew Melling escaped jail despite accidents at their trampoline park

Trampoline park bosses fined after 270 injuries in just two months including 11 broken backs

Henry Staunton (left) was fired as chair of the Post Office last month. He has since engaged in a public row with Business Secretary Kemi Bedenoch (right)

'I am the subject of a smear campaign': Sacked Post Office boss hits out at Kemi Badenoch following public row over exit