Price of standard food items ‘rose by 8 percent’ in one year

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The price of standard food items rose by £1.32 or 8 percent in just one year, stated a recent report citing the rising prices of pasta, tinned tomatoes and strawberry jam.

Although official figures suggest that the overall cost of living or inflation increased by 5.4 percent in the year to December, a research firm has found steeper price rise at the till.

Changes in the average cost of the food items at Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco were tracked by retail research firm Assosia after which it emerged that some items fell in price, with carrots and mild cheddar seeing small declines while some saw a steep rise, BBC reported on Saturday (12).

The same basket of food made up of items from the cheaper “value” ranges at the supermarkets recorded an overall fall in price, down 45p, or 4 percent. But within that, items such as pasta and vanilla ice cream saw rises of more than 6 percent.

Other items the firm tracked in the new research included tortilla chips, fish fingers, honey, blueberries, carrots and lemons

“Looking at food prices is a bit of a minefield”, says Kay Staniland, director at Assosia.

“I think the figures show that retailers are trying to avoid the biggest increases to value lines as much as possible. But these value lines do make up a small part of total ranges. The standard mid-tier range is where the largest volume of sales come from,” she says.

Assosia recorded more than 17,000 price increases across the main supermarkets last month, more than double the number in the same month last year, and across every category.

The report’s findings come amid Asda’s recent pledge to stock its budget ranges in all of its 581 supermarkets and online after complaints from anti-poverty campaigner Jack Monroe.

Meanwhile, Tesco Chairman John Allan claimed last week that worst of rising food prices is “yet to come”.

Food prices in the supermarket giant’s rose only 1 percent last quarter but are likely to be rising by 5 percent by the Spring, he said, admitting that some people will “of course” have less to spend on luxuries due to the combined effect of inflation, National Insurance hike and a £693 rise in the average family’s annual energy bill.