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Supermarket value range shoppers bearing brunt of food price inflation – Which?

Shoppers relying on the cheapest supermarket ranges are bearing the brunt of grocery inflation with price rises on value items far outstripping those of branded and premium products, figures show.

The price of value items was up 21.6% in January on a year before, well in excess of overall grocery inflation of 15.9%, Which? found.

In comparison, branded goods rose by 13.2% over the year, own-label premium ranges were up 13.4% and standard own-brand items increased 18.9%.

Which? analysed inflation on more than 25,000 food and drink products at eight major supermarkets – Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.

Its findings suggest those who are likely to be already struggling to feed their families and pay their bills during the cost-of-living crisis are being hit disproportionately with the sharpest food price increases.

Some of the biggest price increases on supermarket value items include Sainsbury’s muesli rising 87.5% from £1.20 to £2.25, tins of sliced carrots up 63% from 20p to 33p at Tesco, and pork sausages up 58.2% from 80p to £1.27 at Asda.

The butter and spreads category continued to show significant inflation, up 29.9%, as did milk, which went up by 26.1% on average across all eight supermarkets.

The price of cheese went up by 23.8% overall, but some individual examples surged by as much as 96.6%.

Which? examined price rises over the past year (Which?/PA)
Which? examined price rises over the past year (Which?/PA)

Prices were up 23.6% at Lidl and 22.5% at Aldi on a year ago, compared with 10.4% at Ocado, 13.2% at Sainsbury’s, 13.6% at Tesco, 14.4% at Morrisons, 15.2% at Waitrose and 16.8% at Asda.

However Which? found the discounters were generally still cheaper than their competitors.

Sue Davies, Which? head of food policy, said: “It’s clear that food costs have soared in recent months, but our inflation tracker shows how households relying on supermarket value ranges are being hit the hardest.

“Supermarkets need to act and Which? is calling for them to ensure everyone has easy access to basic, affordable food ranges at a store near them, particularly in areas where people are most in need.

“Supermarkets must also do more to ensure transparent pricing enables people to easily work out which products offer the best value and target their promotions to support people who are really struggling.”