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Cost of Staple Foods in UK ‘Soars By Up to 80%’ Watchdog Finds

Shoppers buy food in a supermarket in LondonInternationalIndiaAfricaUK food inflation reached its highest level in over 45 years in February this year, as consumer prices spiked by 10.4%. The country’s Office for National Statistics singled out particular increases of costs of some vegetable items, in part due to shortages, resulting in some supermarkets introducing rationing.The cost of living crisis in the UK continues its onslaught on people’s budgets, as basic food staples are currently around 80% more expensive than a year ago, according to a consumer watchdog. Furthermore, the cheapest products are being the hardest hit by inflation, percentage-wise, the analysis revealed.Food inflation – the rate at which the prices of food items go up – was analyzed on over 26,000 food and drink products at eight British supermarkets by consumer group Which?. It also looked at how the costs of a basket of everyday staple products such as cheddar cheese, sliced white bread, pork sausages, white potatoes and porridge oats had changed over recent time at Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose. Analysis by Which? also revealed the food staples that had witnessed the biggest price hikes.© Photo : UK Which? consumer group. Screenshot oif latest UK food inflation figures from Which? consumer watchdog. Screenshot oif latest UK food inflation figures from Which? consumer watchdog.Thus, prices of cheddar cheese prices increased by an average of 28.3% across these major supermarkets as compared to a year ago. In the cas eof one specific cheese, Dragon Welsh Mature Cheddar 180g at Asda, there had been an 80% hike year on year. The cost for this food product grew from £1 ($1.24) in the three months to the end of March last year to £1.80 ($2.23) for the same period this year.All of the eight supermarkets surveyed witnessed the cost of porridge oats rise by an average of 35.5% compared to the same time last year. Porridge oats at Ocado saw the biggest price growth of about 65.5%. Thus, Quaker Oat So Simple Protein Porridge Pot Original 49g was up from 94p to £1.56.An average increase of 22.8% was registered for 800g loaves of sliced white bread, with Asda’s Soft White Medium Sliced Bread 800g increasing by 67% from 56p to 94p.White potatoes saw average inflation of around 14%. The price of baking potatoes at Morrisons grew by 63.5%.When it comes to pork sausages, the increase was by an average of 26.8% at all eight supermarkets. However, at two of the stores the cost surges were particularly impressive. There was a 73.5% price increase on Asda’s Just Essentials budget range of eight sausages, while Tesco’s value Woodside Farms pack of sausages rose by 73.3%.© Photo : UK Which? consumer group.Screenshot of latest UK food inflation figures from Which? consumer watchdog.Screenshot of latest UK food inflation figures from Which? consumer watchdog.Accordingly, Which?’s tracker showed that even own-label budget items at the supermarkets in question, albeit supposed to be the cheapest, might soon become beyong the means of people already struggling to make a living.© Photo : TwitterScreenshot of Twitter post by UK consumer group Which?Screenshot of Twitter post by UK consumer group Which?In the wake of the analysis, Which? urged major supermarkets to assure that their budget line food items were more widely available.“Our latest supermarket food and drink tracker paints a bleak picture for the millions of households already skipping meals of how inflation is impacting prices on supermarket shelves, with the poorest once again feeling the brunt of the cost-of-living crisis,” Sue Davies, Which? head of food policy,” was quoted as saying. She added:“While the whole food chain affects prices, supermarkets have the power to do more to support people who are struggling, including ensuring everyone has easy access to basic, affordable food ranges at a store near them, particularly in areas where people are most in need. Supermarkets must also provide transparent pricing so people can easily work out which products offer the best value.”In February, UK consumer prices spiked by 10.4% as compared to the same period a year ago, with food inflation reaching its highest figures since the 1970s, according to official data.The UK Office for National Statistics noted that food prices soared 18.2% through the year to February.WorldNumber of Britons Turning to Food Banks Skyrockets Amid Cost of Living Crisis, Study Shows19 February, 06:11 GMTIn the United Kingdom, the living cost increase began in 2021, when prices for many basic necessities began to rise faster than household incomes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting people to tighten their purse strings. Surging energy prices and skyrocketing double digits inflation throughout the country were also, in part, driven by the West’s sanctions imposed on Russia over its special military operation in Ukraine are among the major factors driving the crisis. This bleak situation has affected millions of households, with the vulnerable families particularly struggling to survive on a tight budget.WorldUK Cost of Living Woes Increasingly Driving Britons to Gambling, Charity Says10 April, 09:23 GMT



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