Brits have faced ‘eye-watering price rises’ in groceries over the last two years, new research has revealed.
The price of 265 items have soared by more than 20% between December 2021 and February 2022, consumer choice adviser Which? discovered.
At the same time, there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of discounts and budget ranged for customers to fall back on.
This data was determined by looking at the price patterns of more than 21,000 grocery items at eight major supermarkets.
- Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes Cereal 500g – which increased by 21.4% at Tesco
- Asda’s 250g Own Label Closed Cup Mushrooms – up 21.4%
- Cathedral City Extra Mature Cheddar 350g – by 21.1% at Ocado
Across general grocery categories, soft drinks saw the biggest average price rise at 5.9%.
Butters and spreads followed with 4.9%, energy drinks 4.8%, fresh fruit 1.6%, biscuits 1.8% and vegetables 1.9%.
The number of promotions and discounts fell across each and every grocery category.
On top of this, groceries have been hit with ‘shrinkflation’ – reducing the size of a product while keeping its original price.
Nescafe Azera Americano decaffeinated instant coffee shrank from 100g to 90g and Walkers Classic Variety crisps dropping from 24 bags in a multipack to 22 bags – but the price was not decreased.
Similarly, the amount of money saved in promotions went down – by up to three-quarters.
This was most pronounced for butters and spreads, where the size of savings fell by 3.6% over the two years, followed by vegetables (3.5%) and crisps (2.9%).
There are also less supermarket own-brand budget items available for shoppers, which is important because this is where groceries have seen the lowest level of inflation – 0.2% compared with 3.2% on own-label premium ranges.
Head of food policy and consumer rights at Which?, Sue Davies, said: ‘Our research reveals that eye-watering price rises are being exacerbated by practices like shrinkflation and limited availability of all-important budget ranges – and these factors are combining to put huge pressure on household shopping budgets.
‘During an unrelenting cost-of-living crisis, consumers should be able to easily choose the best value product for them without worrying about shrinkflation or whether their local store stocks budget ranges.’
In a statement responding to the new data, Tesco said: ‘We are committed to providing great value for our customers, whether it’s promising “Low Everyday Prices” on 1,600 staples, price matching around 650 basics to Aldi prices, or offering exclusive deals and rewards through thousands of Clubcard prices.’
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