Household grocery bills ‘rise by almost £40’ in a month


The cost of the average annual grocery shop has risen by almost £40 in just one month, according to an industry report which is warning it is too early to say when food price inflation will peak.

Kantar Worldpanel reported a fresh record grocery inflation figure of 14.7% for the four weeks to 30 October, saying that shoppers now faced paying an average £682 a year more for their groceries, on a same-selection basis, compared to 12 months ago.

The sum was £643 the previous month, based on a grocery inflation figure of 13.9%.

There was also strong evidence to support a claim by Sainsbury’s last week that people were eating at home more to keep costs down as they prepared to face the impact from record winter energy bills.

Kantar reported a 5.2% leap in grocery sales over the 12 weeks to the end of October – the fastest rate of growth since April 2021.

Separate data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said that food shopping drove a 1.6% rise in overall retail sales last month.

Its chief executive, Helen Dickinson, said: “As the cost of living for consumers continued to rise, retail sales slowed in October.

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“With November Black Friday sales just around the corner, many people look to be delaying spending, particularly on bigger purchases.

“Clothing and footwear, which saw stronger sales this year, declined as the mild weather meant customers held back on buying winter outfits.

“Meanwhile, electric blankets, air fryers and other energy efficient appliances continued to fly off the shelves as people sought future cost savings.”

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People putting food bills on credit

Careful budgeting was very clear within Kantar’s figures.

Its report said that sales of supermarkets’ own label goods sales were 10.3% higher during the past four weeks, while demand for the cheapest ranges was 42% up.

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Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar said: “Yet again, we have a new record high figure for grocery price inflation and it’s too early right now to call the top.

“Consumers face a £682 jump in their annual grocery bill if they continue to buy the same items and just over a quarter of all households (27%) now say they’re struggling financially, which is double the proportion we recorded last November.

“Nine in 10 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.”

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Kantar said that dairy and dog food continued to be among products rising the highest in percentage terms.

Its data also showed that 10% of households purchased a pumpkin ahead of Halloween this October, while 700,000 fewer Christmas puddings were bought in advance of December.

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