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British shoppers are feeling the pinch, particularly those fond of the national staple: tea.
Retail researcher Kantar Worldpanel says today that the price of everyday goods in the country’s supermarkets is up by 2.3 per cent compared to the same time last year, in a trend it expects to accelerate.
Prices have been rising since the 12 weeks to 1 January 2017, following a period of grocery price deflation which ran for 30 consecutive periods from September 2014 to December 2016.
Rising prices in markets such as butter, fish, tea and skincare have been partially offset by falling prices in categories including crisps, bacon, chocolate and fresh poultry.
Cheaper own-label supermarket groceries will be the likely beneficiaries, says Fraser McKevitt at the research house. He also points out that value retailers Aldi and Lidl have hit new highs in their market share.
Shares in Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s both slipped in early trading on Tuesday, with falls of 1.3 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively putting them among the worst performers on the FTSE 100.
One category performing particularly well for supermarkets is ‘free-from’ ranges, with food stripped of gluten, dairy and other common allergens and targets of fads.
We’ve seen shoppers’ minds turn to healthy eating after the excess of the festive period and before the temptation of Easter. Greater demand for gluten or dairy-free products, particularly from younger shoppers, has boosted the ‘free from’ category by 36% year on year. In fact, 54% of the population purchased a ‘free from’ product during the past three months – that’s 3.3 million more people than last year.