Grocery prices in the UK have surged to a new record of 17.1% in the four weeks of February, according to the latest figures released by market researcher Kantar on Tuesday. Milk, eggs and margarine are showing the fastest price growth, data shows.
The report says food inflation in the country is at its highest since the firm started tracking the figures in 2008, adding £811 ($980) to the typical annual shopping bill and forcing UK households to change their consumption habits.
“This February marks a full year since monthly grocery inflation climbed above 4%. This is having a big impact on people’s lives,” the head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, Fraser McKevitt, said.
He noted that surging food prices were the second most important financial issue for the public after energy costs, adding that one in four shoppers in Britain were now struggling financially.
According to a BBC study, some essentials have almost doubled in price over the past two years. For example, a 500g bag of pasta that cost 50p two years ago is now priced at 95p.
UK families face an even tighter squeeze on their finances this year as the government cuts back support on household energy bills, while mortgage rates continue to rise, worsening the cost-of-living crisis. Although overall inflation in the UK fell to 10.1% in January from its highest levels in more than 40 years, food prices continue to rise, forcing shoppers to turn to discounters, the economists said.