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    New survey reveals ‘eyewatering’ grocery price rise and shrinkflation

    (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

    Prices of some of the grocery items have risen by more than 20 percent on some goods, states a recent research by Which?, after official figures this week showed many staples’ double-digit increase in price.

    Which? analysed the prices of more than 21,000 groceries and  found that the prices of 265 lines had gone up by more than a fifth.

    Across the 20 categories of groceries Which? looked at, fizzy drinks had the biggest average price rises, at 5.9 per cent. This was followed by butters and spreads (4.9 per cent), energy drinks (4.8 per cent) and milk (4.6 per cent).

    Groceries with the lowest inflation included chocolate (1.4 per cent), fresh fruit (1.6 per cent), biscuits (1.8 per cent) and vegetables (1.9 per cent).

    Which? said the items that had recorded the biggest price rises included a 500g box of Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut corn flakes cereal, which had gone up by 21.4 percent at Tesco, Asda’s own-label closed cup mushrooms (250g) which were up by the same percentage and Cathedral City extra mature cheddar (350g) which rose by 21.1 percent at Ocado, i reported.

    Which? used average prices at eight big supermarkets, and compared costs for December last year to the end of February this year with the same period two years previously.

    The consumer group also pointed out many instances of shrinkflation as well, adding that between December 2021 and February this year, the availability of some value ranges had been more limited than previously.

    Which? gave the example of the contents of Nescafé Azera Americano decaff instant coffee which shrank from 100g to 90g in Tesco in February this year but its price remained at £5.49. That is an effective price increase to shoppers of 11 per cent per 100g.

    Similarly, Walkers Classic Variety crisps went from 24 bags in a multipack to 22 bags at Tesco, Asda and Morrisons last autumn, but stayed the same price.

    The investigation also found that own-brand budget ranges have become less available over the past two years.

    Sue Davies, head of food policy and consumer insights at Which?, said eye-watering price rises , rising shrinkflation and limited availability of all-important budget ranges 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,” Davies said.

    The Office for National Statistics this week reported food and drink prices were up by an average of 6 percent year on year, but some everyday products, including milk and pasta, had increased by more than 10 percent.

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