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Fresh food prices jump 15 per cent to hit record high as the cost of shopping soars and retailers warn inflation shows no sign of slowing

  • The price of fresh food rose by 15 per cent last month compared to last year
  • Retailers warned that spiralling inflation shows ‘no immediate sign of waning’ 
  • Households are struggling to afford healthy food and cutting back on spending 

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Fresh food prices soared by 15 per cent last month compared with a year earlier to hit their highest level since the British Retail Consortium began reporting the data in 2005.

The figures come amid warnings from retailers that inflation shows ‘no immediate sign of waning’ and follow Office for National Statistics studies showing households are reducing food spending and struggling to afford a healthy diet.

Research from the ONS on food prices in the year to November also found huge increases across meat, fish, dairy, fresh fruit and vegetables.

The BRC said food price inflation across all products, including packet items and cans, went up from 12.4 per cent in November to 13.3 per cent in December.

Office for National Statistics studies show households are reducing food spending and struggling to afford a healthy diet

Office for National Statistics studies show households are reducing food spending and struggling to afford a healthy diet

Its research, conducted in partnership with retail analysts NielsenIQ, showed total shop price inflation was 7.3 per cent in December, which was down marginally on 7.4 per cent in November.

Helen Dickinson, the BRC’s chief executive, said: ‘It was a challenging Christmas for many households across the UK. Not only did the cold snap force people to spend more on their energy bills, but the prices of many essential foods also rose as reverberations from the war in Ukraine continued to keep high the cost of animal feed, fertiliser and energy.’

She warned: ‘2023 will be another difficult year for consumers and businesses as inflation shows no immediate signs of waning.’

Government protection for businesses against energy bill hikes is due to end from April 1, which will put new pressure on retailers and shelf prices.

The Which? Head of Food Policy, Sue Davies, said: ‘It is absolutely essential that households get the support they need from the Government and businesses during the cost of living crisis.

‘Supermarkets must ensure budget lines for healthy and affordable essential items are widely available across their stores. Promotions should be targeted at those most in need and people supported so they can easily compare the price of products to get the best value.’

Source: Daily Mail UK

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