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Which food has increased most in price, and why?

Isobel Lawrance 23rd May 2023 No Comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Which food has increased most in price, and why?

Food inflation has caused havoc in supermarkets over the past year. Food and drink prices rose at the fastest rate for more than 45 years – stats we haven’t seen since 1977. 

But which grocery items rose the most in price? Well, the largest contributor to the rise in food inflation is bread and cereals. These items saw an increase of 19.4%. 

So, what are the foods that have increased most in price, and why? Plus, how you can tackle food inflation. 

Keep reading to find out more. 

Price comparison on grocerie

Food item   Tesco  Asda   Morrisons  Sainsburys   Aldi  M&S 
Vegetable oil 1L: 65.2%  £1.99  £2.00  £1.99  £1.99  £1.99  £2.99 
Pasta 500g: 59.9%  £0.95  £0.95  £0.95  £0.95  £0.41  £0.95 
Tea 80 bags: 46.0%  £1.00  £1.00  £1.29  £1.10  £1.09  £1.10 
Chips 1.5kg: 38.7%  £2.50  £2.45  £3.99  £1.85  £1.85  £3.20 
Bread 800g: 37.6%  £0.85  £0.95  £0.89  £0.85  £0.39  £0.85 
Biscuits 200g: 34.4%  £0.55  £0.50  £0.69  £0.55  £0.49  £0.65 
Mixed frozen vegetables 1kg: 31.9%  £1.10  £1.10  £0.72  £1.30  £0.99  £2.50 
Milk 1 pint: 29.4%   £0.95  £0.90  £0.90  £0.90  £0.90  £0.90 
Crisps 6x25g: 23.7%   £1.10  £1.10  £1.19  £1.15  £0.89  £2.00 
Tomatoes 6 pack: 19.3%  £1.25  £1.30  £1.49  £1.25  £1.25  £2.10 

Why have food prices risen so fast? 

There are a few key reasons the cost of your grocery shopping has increased so massively. Of course, increased energy costs have hit food producers hard. The burden of these huge costs on the production of items like fruit and veg has affected the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables that can be produced, leading to shortages in shops. 

Of course, the conflict in Ukraine has played a part also. Major food supplies have been decreased because of the war, and the sanctions imposed on Russia. Ukraine is the largest producer of sunflower oil in the world – however, understandably, production and slowed and in many areas, stopped, due to the ongoing strife. Both Russia and Ukraine account for more than half of all vegetable oil exports worldwide. Similarly, Ukraine exports 36% of the world’s wheat. Hence, the price of both items has risen drastically. 

Brexit has also played a role. Certain meats, cheese, potatoes, wine and fresh vegetables sourced in Europe are now in shortage – driving up prices. 

How to tackle food inflation 

With food inflation reaching 19.2%, Lucinda O’Brien, expert at money.co.uk savings, has shared her top five tips for tackling your food shop on a budget. 

Plan your meals in advance 

Make a list of your main meals for the upcoming week. The key is to have a plan for when you’ll utilise each item, as this means you avoid buying more than you need.  

You could try planning your meals for eight days rather than seven, but on day eight use up all the odd bits and pieces left in the fridge. If you allocate money for groceries on a weekly basis but only spend every eight days, by week eight you will have saved a “spare” week’s worth of grocery costs that you may put into your savings account.  

Set a budget 

Making the most of your money when it comes to the food shop can be done through creating a budget. You can start by making an estimate of your three-month spending on food, reviewing your transactions and statements will help you do that. It may sound simple but allocating a specific amount for food each time you create a budget, such as once a month when you get paid will help you save substantially on groceries every month. However, it’s important to make sure your budget is realistic. 

Think about when and where you shop

Recently, the topic of comparing supermarket prices has received a lot of attention online. As many of us are flocking to budget supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl to reduce our food expenses, some claim that the more affordable selections are really at the more upscale supermarkets such as M&S. However, our findings show that Aldi came out cheapest in comparison to other supermarkets.

To ensure that you are receiving the best value for your money, it is crucial to compare pricing at several supermarkets.  You might also want to think about doing your weekly food shopping in the evening. Not only will it be quieter, but you might also be able to find some good markdowns. Additionally, full-size supermarkets offer better value than local convenience stores like Sainsbury’s Local or Tesco Express.  

Download money-saving food apps 

As more and more people are worrying about the skyrocketing food prices, some may not be aware that you can find food for free through apps like Olio and Too Good To Go, which both work to reduce food waste. 

Olio is partnered with Tesco and their collections are normally around 8.30pm so you may discover some deals if you get online at 9pm. It may be worthwhile to check on popular holidays like Christmas, Easter or bank holidays because Tesco can have a tonne of leftover food. If you see something that you want, all you have to do is request it. Once you’ve been approved, just get in touch to set up a time to pick it up. You can also keep 10% of anything you collect yourself from Tesco if you sign up to be a Food Waste Hero. 

Be sure to sign up for supermarket loyalty cards like the Tesco Clubcard and Sainsburys Nectar card. The new Nectar Prices scheme now offers discounts on 300 everyday items. This can currently save you 51% on coffee, 32% on beans and 22% cereal along with further staples of a weekly shop. 

Get cashback with your bank account 

With so much competition, banks have to work hard to keep their customers. Most will offer perks such as cashback debit cards, which give you the chance to earn some money on your day-to-day spending and bills. Which shops trigger cashback rewards will depend on your bank and the amount you’ll get back depends on the individual offer at the time.  

The easiest way to check where you can cash in is by looking at the terms and conditions of your current account by visiting your bank’s website. 

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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