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UK food inflation reaches highest rate in nearly a decade

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2 min read
AUTHOR: Fiona Holland
a plate of pound sterling notes

UK food prices went up by 2.7% in January 2022, which is the highest food inflation rate seen since 2013, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

The inflation of food prices in January was 2.4% higher than what was recorded in December of last year, as well as being larger than the average 12 month price increase of 0.5%, and the1.1% six month price increase.

Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson OBE, said: “Food prices continue to rise, especially domestic produce which have been impacted by poor harvests, labour shortages, and rising global food prices.

The prices of shelf-stable foods such as canned goods increased by 2.4% last month from the inflation rate of 1.7% in December 2021. The BRC says this is the highest rate of inflation seen for these sorts of goods since November 2020.

The one food group which did not see as rapid an inflation growth was fresh food, which saw a decrease from 3.0% in December 2021 to 2.9% this January.

The rise in prices continues to have a negative impact on people nationwide who are struggling to live with larger bills, says Dickinson: “Many households will find it difficult to absorb the additional costs, as well as others on the horizon. Retailers are working hard to cut costs, but it would be impossible to protect consumers from any future rises. As commodity prices, energy prices and transportation costs continue to rise, it is inevitable that retail prices will continue to follow in the future.”

Head of Retailer and Business Insight at NielsenIQ, Mike Watkins, said the increase could impact what goods consumers are willing to purchase:“NielsenIQ research this month shows nearly a half of all households are saying that their most important concern at the moment is the rising cost of living. This will mean stores will need to encourage cash-strapped customers to keep shopping and despite the increase in shop prices, retailers are responding by keeping price increases as low possible for as long as possible.”

Recent reports have also predicted inflation and potential shortages in goods produced using CO2, after the Government did not extend its three-month subsidies deal with the carbon dioxide industry, which ended on 31 January 2022.


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