Food inflation climbs to 3.5% as global food prices reach ‘record highs’

Food inflation climbed to 3.5% in April as global food prices reach ‘record highs’, with rising energy costs and Ukraine conflict continuing to feed into soaring prices.

April’s figures – up from 3.3% in March –  show the impact of global events has continued to feed through into the UK’s grocery prices, according to the BRC-NielsenIQ Shop Price Index.

The data also showed that fresh food inflation had slowed slightly – down from 3.5% last month to 3.4% – following fierce competition between supermarkets as many launched price cuts, drops and freezes across a wide range of everyday essentials.

Global food prices have also reached record highs, seeing a 13% rise on the previous month. This figure is even higher for both cooking oils and cereals, due to supply chain shortages which will place further pressure on UK food prices over the coming months.

Read more: Shoppers flock to discount retailers as grocery inflation soars to 11-year high 

“Retailers will continue to do all they can to keep prices down and deliver value for their customers by limiting price rises and expanding their value ranges, but this will put pressure on them to find cost-savings elsewhere,” said British Retail Consortium boss Helen Dickinson.

“Unfortunately, customers should brace themselves for further price rises and a bumpy road ahead.”

NielsenIQ’s head of retailer and business insight Mike Watkins said: “Inflation shows no signs of abating and the increase in non-food prices is an extra challenge for the high street as fragile consumer confidence and rising living costs are likely to negatively affect consumer spending.

“With food retailing no longer immune to these pressures, supermarkets are reacting by cutting the prices of some everyday grocery products including private label to help limit shop price inflation.”

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