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Food prices have risen to the highest rates since August last year new data reveals

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3 min read
AUTHOR: Fiona Holland
Shopping basked with food products over receipts

Food prices inflated by 2.1% last month according to recently published data from the analytics and brand consulting company Kantar.

The highest inflation is being seen in savoury snacks, canned colas, and crisps, while it is going down in products such as fresh bacon and vegetables.

Kantar’s retailer analysis looks at the following supermarkets:

  • Tesco
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Asda
  • Morrisons
  • Aldi
  • Co-op
  • Lidl
  • Waitrose
  • Iceland
  • Ocado

The report also included other multiples, as well as symbols (convenience stores) and independent stores.

In a recent update, Kantar said grocery inflation is now standing at 1.5% for the 12-week period prior to 31 October 2021. This figure is based on over 75,000 identical products that the company analyses each year in the proportions that British shoppers tend to usually purchase.

Head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, Fraser McKevitt said: “Grocery prices are rising, and this month inflation hit its highest rate since August 2020, when retailers were still cutting promotions to maintain stock on the shelves. As prices increase in certain categories, we can expect shoppers to continue to visit several supermarkets and shop around to find the best deals.”

Kantar’s insights also revealed that British consumers are shopping at more than one grocery store for their food. Households currently shop in 3.3 supermarkets a month to find the best value for money in food.

One trend which emerged during the pandemic that seems to be here to stay is that consumers are visiting the supermarket less frequently. They have been visiting 15.7 times in the past month, an increase from 15.3 times in 2020, but the amount is still 40 million fewer per month than in 2019.

A fifth of households are also ordering their groceries online. 12.4% of the total grocery market was made up of digital sales.

Consumers are also buying more products in time for “calendar milestones”, says Kantar. McKevitt added: “After a tough 18 months, consumers are gearing up for bigger and better celebrations. An unrestricted Halloween drove sales of pumpkins up 26% in the four weeks to 31 October, and with trick or treating back on the cards seasonal confectionery grew by 27%.”

“4.7 million households bought mince pies this month. Customers are also getting ahead on shopping for the big day itself. Frozen poultry sales are 27% higher year on year, with people spending an additional £6.1 million in the latest four weeks. 1.6 million households bought their Christmas pudding this month as well, 400,000 more than last year.”

Tesco was the only supermarket to see any growth in sales this year of 0.3% during the 12-week period analysed, according to Kantar. They note that almost 75% of Britons went to Tesco within the past three months.

In comparison to this same period two years ago, all the retailers analysed saw an increase in sales in this period, with Ocado seeing the biggest sales increase since 2019.


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