Fact Service February 2023

Food prices reach new high, adding £788 to bills

Grocery price inflation in the UK reached a new record rate of 16.7% in the four weeks to 22 January 2022, according to consultants Kantar. It is the highest level since the company started tracking the figure in 2008, and equates to an extra £788 on annual household food bills.

Meanwhile, the British Retail Consortium reported that food inflation accelerated to 13.8% in January, up from 13.3% in December, the highest inflation rate in the food category on record.

Shop price annual inflation also rose, to 8% in January, up from 7.3% in December, leaving shop prices at record highs. Fresh Food inflation increased to 15.7%, up from 15%, once again setting a record.

Helen Dickinson OBE, BRC chief executive, explained: “Retail prices rose in January as discounting slowed and retailers continued to face high input costs. Ambient food inflation accelerated the most as wholesale and bulk prices grew, particularly for sugar and alcohol. Fresh food prices also remained high due to increased food production costs as well as elevated wholesale fruit and vegetable prices.”

“With global food costs coming down from their 2022 high and the cost of oil falling, we expect to see some inflationary pressures easing. However, as retailers still face ongoing headwinds from rising energy bills and labour shortages, prices are yet to peak and will likely remain high in the near term as a result.”