The average food bill is set to increase by £811 a year for UK shoppers after grocery inflation hit a new record high of 17.1%. Kantar Worldpanel, who released the data, said that February marks a full year since monthly grocery inflation climbed above 4% - and it’s having a “big impact” on peoples’ lives.
It had been hoped that declining grocery costs during December would mark a turning point, but Kantar revealed that temporary Christmas discounting had been largely responsible for as the four major supermarkets went head to head to maintain market share amid challenges posed by cheaper rivals.
Kantar’s latest report showed that while all of the major supermarkets, apart from Morrisons, had expanded sales during the 12 weeks to February 19 - Aldi, Iceland and Lidl had grown their market shares. In fact, Aldi achieved a record market share of 9.4% over this period.
The cost of everyday products including food have rocketed in cost due to the surge in energy prices brought on by the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons have all expanded their budget ranges after shopping habits shifted during the cost of living crisis.
Producers are still grappling with increasing energy bills, and they are just one element of a complex supply chain. Supermarkets also continue to navigate a shortage of fruit, salad and vegetable items, which has forced some retailers to limit sales.
Kantar said that the shortage came outside of its reporting window but that it expected to reveal a further blow to supermarkets when its next report is published. Head of retail and consumer insight, Fraser McKevitt, 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."