Food and drink inflation at 15% as consumer trust plummets

Food and drink inflation stands at 15 per cent across UK supermarkets as consumer trust plummets during the cost-of-living crisis, new research has found.

Which?’s supermarket food and drink inflation tracker recorded the annual inflation of thousands of food and drink products across three months at eight major supermarkets – Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose – to see how inflation is impacting everyday products.

Price rises were a common reason for diminished consumer trust – with consumer sentiment at +42 now compared with +67 in May 2021 – with the perception that prices are sometimes artificially inflated and go beyond what is necessary for businesses to offset their own rising costs, Which? said.

Food and drink inflation was at 15 per cent overall across the eight retailers, but the consumer champion found that butters and spreads had risen in cost by over 29 per cent and milk and cheese by more than 20 per cent.

In the three months to December 2022, supermarket ranges, budget, and own-brand items were again found to be subject to higher rates of inflation than premium and branded counterparts.

Sue Davies, Which? head of food policy, said “supermarkets must do more”.

Davies continued: “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, as well as pricing which enables people to easily work out best value and promotions to support people who are particularly struggling.”

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