Food inflation soars to highest rate since 2013

Food inflation accelerated 3.3% in March, up from 2.7% in February, marking the highest rate of food inflation since March 2013, according to the British Retail Consortium.

The trade body reported that overall shop price annual inflation reached 2.1% in March, the highest level since September 2011.

Fresh food and ambient food inflation soared to 3.5% and 3% respectively in March, up from 3.3% and 2%.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson OBE said: “Consumers were hit once again by rising prices, with March seeing the fifth consecutive month of inflation.

“There have been mounting cost pressures throughout the supply chain for some time, including rising wages, input costs, global commodity prices, energy, and transport.”

READ MORE: Supermarket prices rise by more than 5% as inflation bites

Dickinson added: “Many of these costs are beginning to be exacerbated by the situation in Ukraine, but the full impact on prices is yet to be seen.

“Wheat prices have risen sharply, while the rise in oil prices has not only impacted domestic energy costs, but also the costs of fertiliser and transporting goods.

NielsenIQ head of retailer and business insight Mike Watkins said the next few months will be difficult for consumers and will impact their grocery shopping.

“Rising food prices will start to impact what’s put in the shopping basket so supermarkets will need to adapt ranges to help shoppers manage what they spend on their weekly groceries,” he said.

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