Posted: Tue 18th Apr 2023

Staple food prices skyrocket in Supermarkets with Cheddar cheese up 80%

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Apr 18th, 2023

The cost of essential food items, including cheddar cheese, white bread, and porridge oats, has surged by as much as 80% in the UK according to a recent analysis by consumer watchdog Which?

The study examined over 26,000 food and drink products at eight major supermarkets – Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Waitrose – to determine the extent of price hikes on everyday items.

Which? found that the average supermarket food and drink prices in March 2023 were 17.2% higher than in March 2022, with certain items experiencing more significant increases.

Cheddar cheese, for instance, saw an average increase of 28.3% across all supermarkets. The most significant rise occurred with Dragon Welsh Mature Cheddar 180g at Asda, which went from £1 to £1.80 – a year-on-year increase of 80%.

Worst everyday foods for inflation revealed.

[Data: Annual price increases on 11 popular everyday groceries across all eight supermarkets – Which? Tracker]

Similarly, porridge oats increased by an average of 35.5%, while the largest hike was witnessed at Ocado, where the cost of Quaker Oat So Simple Protein Porridge Pot Original 49g jumped from 94p to £1.56 – a 65.5% increase.

Prices of sliced white bread increased by an average of 22.8%, with the Bakery at Asda Soft White Medium Sliced Bread 800g experiencing a 67% increase from 56p to 94p.

In response to the findings, a spokesperson from Asda stated that the supermarket was working to maintain low prices for customers despite global inflationary pressures, adding that Asda was the “lowest-priced major supermarket.” Ocado’s spokesperson assured customers of the company’s commitment to offering great value through its Ocado Price Promise.

Sainsbury’s spokesperson highlighted the company’s investment of over £550m in lowering prices over the past two years, as well as its Aldi Price Match campaign and My Nectar Prices initiatives to provide low prices on frequently purchased items.

How the supermarkets compare on inflation.

[Inflation is annual, based on the one month to the end of March 2023 compared with the same period a year earlier. Which? looked at 26,242 products across eight major supermarkets]

Waitrose emphasised the need to balance fair pricing with paying farmers and suppliers equitably and maintaining high animal welfare standards.

The overall trend indicates that supermarket value ranges are the hardest hit by inflation in percentage terms. Supermarket own-label budget items saw a 24.8% price increase in March 2023 compared to the previous year, significantly more than standard supermarket own brands, which increased by 20.5%.

In contrast, branded goods and premium own-brand ranges experienced a 13.8% increase.

Despite the rising costs, Aldi and Lidl maintain the lowest overall prices, according to Which?’s latest supermarket price comparison. The watchdog’s monthly tracker shows inflation continuing to rise in March to 17.2%, compared to 16.5% the previous month.

A Which? spokesperson said: “Our findings show the dramatic impact inflation is having on everyday foods. Even ‘value’-range foods are at risk of becoming too expensive for those on the tightest budgets. ”

“That’s why our Affordable Food For All campaign calls on supermarkets to do more to ensure own-brand budget line items are widely available throughout all branches – including in convenience stores. They should also make pricing and offers more transparent.”

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