Inflation forces over 25% hike in price of everyday family meals
In recent analysis conducted by consumer champion Which?, everyday family meals have seen a dramatic price increase of over 25% in the last 12 months, with some essential ingredients doubling in price.
Inflation on value ranges, often considered the cheapest option, is outstripping other foods.
The study revealed that popular dishes such as pasta bake, fish fingers, chips and beans, and homemade spaghetti bolognese have been hit hardest, with prices surging by up to 27% over the year.
Which? assessed the prices of nearly 26,000 food and drink products at eight major UK supermarkets – Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose, to identify the impact of inflation on everyday product prices.
The research, carried out in May, provides a vivid depiction of the challenges households face when planning meals. The average cost of a quick pasta bake for four, for instance, has risen from £2.68 to £3.39 – an increase of 27%.
Even a classic fish finger supper wasn’t immune, with the price climbing by 24%, from £3.06 to £3.79. This was primarily due to baked beans, which experienced an average increase of 36%.
The report also highlighted that homemade meals aren’t necessarily the solution, with a spaghetti bolognese recipe seeing an average increase of 20% over the past year. The cost of essential ingredients, such as beef mince, soared by 59%.
While a typical Sunday lunch of roast chicken saw a comparatively smaller increase of 13%, some ingredients such as vegetable oil and chicken gravy granules saw larger increases of 43% and 40% respectively.
The scale of these price hikes, particularly on value ranges, suggests that low-income shoppers are being hit hardest by soaring inflation. Moreover, these value ranges are rarely available in smaller convenience stores, where 66% of people with a household income below £21,000 shop at least once a week.
Responding to these worrying trends, Sue Davies, Which? Head of Food Policy, said: “The cost of food during this period of economic uncertainty has turned the pleasure of mealtimes with loved ones into a nightmare for the millions that are struggling to afford food.”
She emphasised the role of supermarkets, advocating for them to stock budget lines in all stores and to provide clearer unit pricing. “If supermarkets can’t do the right thing by their customers, it’s time for the government to take action,” Davies added.
These findings emerge ahead of next week’s official inflation figures, which are anticipated to show food prices remaining at an elevated level. They underscore the growing crisis of food affordability in the UK and the urgent need for effective Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com