UK Shopper’s Annual Grocery Bills to Rise by £380 Amid Soaring Inflation

UK Shopper’s Annual Grocery Bills to Rise by £380 Amid Soaring Inflation
A customer shops for meat at a Sainsbury's supermarket in Walthamstow, east London, on Feb. 13, 2022. (Tolga Akmen /AFP via Getty Images)
Alexander Zhang

British shoppers will see their annual grocery bills jump by £380 ($467) this year as food price inflation hits a 13-year high, new figures suggest.

According to the latest data from research firm Kantar, grocery price inflation jumped to 8.3 percent over the four weeks to June 12, up from 7 percent in May and its highest level since April 2009.

Kantar now predicts that the average annual shopping bill will increase by £380 to £4,960 in 2022—up by more than £100 since April, when the firm said the costs would go up by £271.

The upward revision shows “just how sharp price increases have been recently and the impact inflation is having on the sector,” said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar.

He said the inflation number “makes for difficult reading” and shoppers will be “watching budgets closely as the cost-of-living crisis takes its toll.”

According to Kantar’s analysis, consumers are swapping branded items, which have declined by 1 percent, for the supermarkets’ own-label products, whose sales have risen by 2.9 percent.

McKevitt said sales of own-label lines have been “boosted by Aldi and Lidl’s strong performances, both of whom have extensive own-label repertoires.”

“We can also see consumers turning to value ranges, such as Asda Smart Price, Co-op Honest Value, and Sainsbury’s Imperfectly Tasty, to save money,” he added.

According to a report released by the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) last week, prices of essential food items such as dairy, bread, and meat in the UK could rise by as much as 15 percent over the summer.

As the UK economy is facing its strongest period of inflationary pressure since the 1970s, IGD said it expects food inflation to persist for longer than originally expected due to several factors, including the impact of the war in Ukraine, pre-existing supply chain challenges, and the limited effectiveness of monetary and fiscal policy.

On June 16, the Bank of England, Britain’s central bank, raised its benchmark interest rate by 0.25 percentage points to 1.25 percent in an effort to rein in runaway inflation.

Last month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) recorded that inflation hit a 40-year-high at 9 percent, as food price increases gathered pace.

The ONS revealed that budget pasta prices rose 50 percent between April last year and April this year, with the cost of bread and minced beef also lifting substantially higher.

The latest BRC-NielsenIQ Shop Price Index, released earlier this month, shows retail price inflation reached 2.8 percent in May, the highest figure since July 2011, driven mainly by accelerating food inflation.

PA Media contributed to this report.
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