Thursday, 26 May 2022

UK supermarkets hike food prices by 30 percent as cost-of-living crisis bites

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Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Aldi increased the cost of more than 100 value range items, including tinned vegetables, jam, pasta, coffee, fresh meat and cheese. Millions of people are facing a cost-of-living squeeze as prices across supermarkets, forecourts and retail rocket.

Scott Dixon, consumer expert, said: “Consumers will have noticed that many of the goods they buy on a weekly basis have shot up in price.

“I have noticed that it’s often in 5p increments on lower priced items and anywhere between 10p to 30p on the mainstream products, which hides the real impact of inflation being inflicted on consumers.

“There is also shrinkflation to consider. I have noticed that many frozen items are being shrunk in size by small amounts, yet the price remains the same.”

Asda increased the prices of 37 out of 158 Smart Price or Farm Stores products between April 4 and May 2, Nationalworld found.

This included a 300g tin of Smart price mushy peas, which rose by 16.7 percent from 18p to 21p.

Sainsbury’s increased the prices of 20 out of 237 value range products between April 4 and May 2, including Stamford Street 300g lasagne ready meal which rose from £1 up to £1.25.

Tesco increased the prices of 42 out of 216 value range products and Morrisons only increased the price of one product out of the 43 value items from April 4 and May 2.

Mr Dixon said: “Supermarkets can do more and it’s vital that they do so. Motorists will have noticed that there is no competition on the supermarket forecourts now, with record profit margins being made on fuel sales.

“Supermarkets could leverage that to reduce food prices and help those most in need of help right now.”

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK said: significant numbers of older people are already struggling, cutting back on meals and buying cheaper alternatives to save where they can.

She added: “But the strain on their income will only get worse towards the end of year as they use more energy to keep their homes warm. However frugal they are, our analysis shows 2 million older households won’t have enough money to cover their essential spending this year.

“With no more cuts to make, they need concrete support now and without determined government intervention they are at risk of deep hardship like nothing we’ve seen in this country for many years. That’s why we’re calling for the Government to urgently increase benefits and the State Pension in line with inflation to help all those on a low income – irrespective of age – who will otherwise be in deep trouble as prices continue to rise. A one-off payment of £500 to those on the lowest incomes would also help enormously to mitigate the impact of energy price increases this year.”

An Aldi spokesperson said: “Value is the number one consideration for most households as they wrestle with rising costs and our promise to our customers is that we will always provide the lowest grocery prices.”

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We know that now, more than ever, customers want great value when they do their food shop.

“That’s why we are committed to providing great value for our customers, whether it’s promising Low Everyday Prices on 1,600 staples, price matching 650 basics to Aldi prices, or offering exclusive deals and rewards through Clubcard Prices.

“In the past week alone we have added an additional 100 products to our Low Everyday Prices.”

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “The cost of individual products is determined by a number of factors and prices can fluctuate, both up and down, as a consequence.

“We remain relentlessly focused on keeping prices low on the products that our customers buy most often such as meat, fish, poultry, dairy and fresh produce and are committed to doing everything we can to help our customers, colleagues and communities at this challenging time.”

An Asda spokesperson said: “We know how much the cost of living is worrying our customers right now and we’re doing everything we can to keep prices as low as possible on their shopping.”

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