British grocery inflation hits record high

Grocery shopping inflation in the UK hit a record high of 14.7 per cent in October.

According to Kantar, 27 per cent of households reported that they are struggling financially, more than double the proportion recorded in 2021, with consumers facing a £682 increase in their annual grocery bill.

"Nine in ten of this group say higher food and drink prices are a major concern, second only to energy bills, so it’s clear just how much grocery inflation is hitting people’s wallets and adding to their domestic worries," Fraser McKevitt, Kantar's head of retail and consumer insight, said.

Kantar said grocery sales rose by 5.2 per cent on a value basis in the 12 weeks to Oct. 30 year-on-year - masking a drop in volumes once inflation is accounted for.

The researcher warned that this would not be the peak for grocery inflation as the UK’s cost-of-living crisis continues to worsen.

It noted that shoppers are increasingly turning to lower-cost own-label goods from supermarkets, with such products increasing in sales by 10.3 per cent during October versus branded goods only rising by 0.4 per cent. The cheapest-value own-label ranges, such as Asda’s Smart Price products, saw sales increase by 42 per cent.

This is reflected in the growth of more value-oriented supermarkets as a whole, with Aldi and Lidl proving to be the fastest growing grocers over the 12 weeks up to the end of October. Their sales grew by 22.7 per cent and 21.5 per cent respectively, while Morrisons and Waitrose saw their sales fall by 4.6 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively.

Looking ahead to the festive season, Kantar said that fewer people were stocking up for Christmas in October and that many consumers were preferring to wait until later in the year.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: "Nine in ten of this group say higher food and drink prices are a major concern, second only to energy bills, so it’s clear just how much grocery inflation is hitting people’s wallets and adding to their domestic worries.

“Yet again, we have a new record high figure for grocery price inflation and it's too early right now to call the top.”

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