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Food price rises see oil, tea, milk and bread among the low-cost, traditionally cheaper food items now seeing big increases





Food prices in the UK leapt by more than 11.6% in October - the fastest increase on record - with supermarket staples including tea bags and milk among the items becoming rapidly more expensive.

Latest data from the British Retail Consortium lays bare just how expensive the contents of our shopping baskets have become with prices being pushed up as retailers battle cost pressures, energy prices and staffing issues.

October has seen a record rise in food prices says the British Retail Consortium. Image: PA.
October has seen a record rise in food prices says the British Retail Consortium. Image: PA.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: "It has been a difficult month for consumers who not only faced an increase in their energy bills, but also a more expensive shopping basket. Prices were pushed up because of the significant input cost pressures faced by retailers due to rising commodity and energy prices and a tight labour market.

"Even the price of basic items went up, with the price of the humble cuppa rising, as tea bags, milk and sugar all saw significant rises. While some supply chain costs are beginning to fall, this is more than offset by the cost of energy, meaning a difficult time ahead for retailers and households alike."

The price of low-cost items is rising fast

But it isn't just the cost of making a cuppa that is on the rise. Data from the Office of National Statistics, also released this week, shows that the average prices of our traditionally cheaper groceries have increased by 17% in the last year.

The ONS has been tracking the prices of some of our cheapest grocery items and prices are rising. Image: File photo.
The ONS has been tracking the prices of some of our cheapest grocery items and prices are rising. Image: File photo.

Alongside tea bags, previously low-cost staples such as vegetable oil, pasta, chips, bread and biscuits are seeing some of the largest price rises according to the research, which studied the prices of products across numerous supermarket websites.

Nine of the grocery items tracked by the ONS saw their cheapest price rise by more than 20% in the last year to September 2022 - with ordinarily cheaper popular food items including crisps, mixed frozen veg and bread among those to have gained some of the biggest rises in pounds and pence.

The ONS has looked at the costs of traditionally low-cost groceries to see how much prices have changed
The ONS has looked at the costs of traditionally low-cost groceries to see how much prices have changed

Annual shopping bills are estimated to have now risen by £643 since the start of 2022 - with the average family now needing to find an extra £54 a month if they wish to continue buying the grocery items that they have always picked from the shelves.

In basket terms - this equates to an extra £3.04 on top of the average shopping trip which used to be £21.89, and far exceeds predictions made only in June that the cost of the annual supermarket shop would go up by £380.

Shopping bills are now increasing by about £54 a month says latest research into rising prices. Image: Stock photo.
Shopping bills are now increasing by about £54 a month says latest research into rising prices. Image: Stock photo.

And with the festive season on the horizon, which is putting retailers under increased pressure, shoppers are unlikely to find there's going to be much change in the situation, added Helen Dickinson, because supermarkets are now struggling to cushion the rising costs.
She explained: "With Christmas fast approaching, customers are looking for any sign of respite, but it is increasingly difficult for retailers to shoulder the ongoing supply chain pressures.

"The Government can support households by reducing the cost burden that prevents retailers from keeping prices down for their customers. Government must freeze business rates to prevent an additional £800m bill landing on the plates of retailers and in turn their customers in 2023."



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