Supermarket value range shoppers facing highest food inflation, Which? says

Price of value items up 21.6 per cent in comparison to January last year

A customer shop for cheese and juice at a Sainsbury's supermarket in London. EPA
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Rising prices on the cheapest supermarket ranges are far outstripping those of branded and premium products, leaving shoppers who rely on them to bear the brunt of grocery inflation, figures have shown.

Overall grocery inflation was up 15.9 per cent in January on a year before, while the price of value items was up 21.6 per cent in the same period, Which? found.

Over the past year, branded goods rose by 13.2 per cent, own-label premium ranges were up 13.4 per cent and standard own-brand items increased 18.9 per cent.

Which? analysed inflation on more than 25,000 food and drink products at eight major supermarkets — Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.

Its findings suggest those who are likely to be already struggling to feed their families and pay their bills during the cost-of-living crisis are being hit disproportionately hard by the sharpest food price increases.

Some of the biggest price increases on supermarket value items include Sainsbury’s muesli rising 87.5 per cent from £1.20 to £2.25, tins of sliced carrots up 63 per cent from 20p to 33p at Tesco, and pork sausages up 58.2 per cent from 80p to £1.27 at Asda.

Inflation around the world — in pictures

The butter and spreads category continued to show significant inflation, up 29.9 per cent, as did milk, which went up by 26.1 per cent on average across all eight supermarkets.

The price of cheese went up by 23.8 per cent overall, but some individual examples surged by as much as 96.6 per cent.

Prices were up 23.6 per cent at Lidl and 22.5 per cent at Aldi on a year ago, compared with 10.4 per cent at Ocado, 13.2 per cent at Sainsbury’s, 13.6 per cent at Tesco, 14.4 per cent at Morrisons, 15.2 per cent at Waitrose and 16.8 per cent at Asda.

However Which? found the discounters were generally still cheaper than their competitors.

UK Chancellor says 'best tax cut right now is a cut in inflation' — video

“It’s clear that food costs have soared in recent months, but our inflation tracker shows how households relying on supermarket value ranges are being hit the hardest,” said Sue Davies, Which? head of food policy.

“Supermarkets need to act and 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.

“Supermarkets must also do more to ensure transparent pricing enables people to easily work out which products offer the best value and target their promotions to support people who are really struggling.”

Updated: February 24, 2023, 12:01 AM