Posted: Tue 28th Feb 2023

Quarter of UK shoppers struggling as grocery price inflation surpasses record 17%

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Feb 28th, 2023

Grocery price inflation has hit a record high, with a rise to 17.1% in the four weeks leading up to February 19 according to market researcher Kantar.

Food inflation is now the second most important financial issue for the public, behind energy costs, with two-thirds of people concerned about food and drink prices.

One in four people say they are struggling financially, compared to one in five last year.

Households are facing an £811 increase to their average annual bill if they do not change their grocery shopping habits.

Supermarkets and shoppers are adapting to rising prices, Kantar says.

Own-label ranges are one focus, with sales up 13.2% this month, well ahead of branded products at 4.6%.

The battle to offer the best value for consumers continues, particularly as traditional retailers seek to protect market share from discounters.

Shoppers have been navigating shortages in the fruit and vegetable aisles due to supply chain issues, leading some supermarkets to restrict the number of salad and vegetable packs customers can buy.

However, pack limits are unlikely to drastically affect consumers as they typically purchase fresh produce in smaller quantities.

Rocio Concha, Which? Director of Policy and Advocacy, said:

“These latest figures are deeply concerning, and reflect Which?’s own inflation tracker, which shows the dramatic impact the cost of living crisis is having on everyday products at the supermarket.

“Some households are already skipping meals to make ends meet and our research shows trust in supermarkets taking a hit as many people worry they are putting profits before the people suffering during this cost of living crisis.

“Supermarkets must boost budget range availability across stores so people do not have to pay excessive prices for everyday essentials. They should also be more upfront about costs and provide clear unit pricing to help shoppers to easily compare items.”

Despite the challenges of rising prices, people were still keen to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year.

Sales of steak rose by a quarter and chilled ready meal sales were nearly one-third higher. Sparkling wine sales also doubled, and an additional £5m was spent on boxed chocolates.

Aldi’s market share hit a record high of 9.4%, making it the fastest-growing grocer with sales up by 26.7%.

It was closely followed by Lidl, which increased sales by 25.4%, and Iceland, which took 2.4% of market sales. Online retailer Ocado put in a strong performance, growing sales by 11.3% to achieve its largest-ever market share of 1.9%.

Tesco led the way among the UK’s biggest retailers, with sales up by 6.6%. Sainsbury’s and Asda followed with sales increases of 6.2% and 5.9%, respectively. Morrisons’ sales decline of 0.9% was its best performance since May 2021, while Waitrose nudged up sales by 0.7%. Convenience retailer Co-op increased sales by 3.4%.

 

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