UK inflation dips as food and energy costs remain high
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As the cost-of-living crisis bears heavily on everyone’s minds looking forward in 2023, many will be looking to save money wherever they can. With food prices rising at their fastest rate in over four decades, supermarket choice is more important than ever. Express.co.uk compiled the cost of 20 everyday essentials across the UK’s eight major stores and delivery sites to find out where you have the best chance of sticking to your New Year’s resolutions without breaking the bank…
For many months now, the UK’s sky-high rate of inflation has been driven by two primary forces: energy bills and food prices.
While the Government has implemented a range of support mechanisms to ease the cost of gas and electricity, grocery retailers themselves have been battling to lower prices and attract budget-conscious customers.
Throughout 2022, Which? tracked the price of hundreds of items in the country’s biggest supermarkets – Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.
While Lidl was consistently found to be the cheapest overall for five consecutive months between January and May, Aldi took the crown from June until the end of the year. Over the whole year, Aldi was the least costly of all.
But how do all these chains compare in 2023? Use our interactive table below to find out how much your essentials cost…
The collected price data shows Aldi remains the most economical place to shop in early 2023. A shopping trolley full of 20 everyday items – including a loaf of bread, chicken breasts, bananas, pasta and carrots – came to a total of £26.57.
Rival German discounter Lidl was a close second, costing £28.47. The two budget brands have taken the UK by storm over the past decade, expanding at a rapid pace and competing fiercely on price.
According to Retail Gazette, in September Aldi overtook Morrisons to become the country’s fourth-biggest grocer in terms of market share. The cost-of-living crisis saw consumers flock to Aldi at the expense of its relatively more pricey British counterpart – where the bill for Express.co.uk’s 20 items came to £32.28.
Upmarket brand Waitrose was the most expensive at all, the same basket of goods costing £38.06 – over £11 more than Aldi.
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The data also reveal the extent to which supermarkets are locking the prices of the most basic items to each other in a bid to ease customer fears of losing out on the best deals.
Two pints of whole milk cost £1.30 at all eight of the supermarkets visited, a pack of six salad tomatoes cost 85p at all retailers save Morrisons, while a loaf of white Hovis bread was £1.40 at six out of the eight in the comparison.
This comes as Tesco announces a new price lock on over a thousand products – from McCain Home Chips to Nescafe Instant Coffee – which will run until Easter 2023.
“As we start the New Year, we know times are tough for many of our customers right now,” said Tesco UK Chief Executive, Jason Tarry. “We hope this extended price lock commitment gives our customers the certainty of knowing that over a thousand household favourites and own brand essentials will stay at the same low price for months to come – helping them budget when they need it most.”
The high cost of fuel and energy has seen the transport and packaging costs of food shoot up in turn. According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), food and non-alcoholic beverage prices have risen 16.5 percent over the past year.
Now at its highest level since 1977, the annual rate of food price inflation has been climbing for 16 consecutive months.
According to an ONS survey conducted between November 22 and December 4, just over half of all adults in Britain (51 percent) claimed to be buying less food than usual to keep costs down. A year ago, just ten percent of adults reported doing as much.
This comes as the National Farmers Union (NFU) warns the “country is sleepwalking into further food supply crises” as egg shortages leave shelves empty around the country.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme in early December, NFU president Minette Batters claimed British fruit and vegetable supplies were “in trouble” unless the Government provided help to producers strained by extraordinary fuel, fertiliser and feed costs.
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