Grocery bill will rise by £271 for average household as suppliers pass on soaring costs

The average annual grocery bill is set to jump £271 this year as food prices climb at the fastest rate in 11 years, according to the latest supermarket sales figures.

Average prices rose 5.9% in the three months to April compared with the same period a year earlier, according to data firm Kantar, which compiled the figures.

Buyers are being hit with higher prices as suppliers pass on soaring energy, fuel and transportation costs.

Kantar warned that further price hikes will be hard to avoid as many affected items are basic necessities.

He found that shoppers increasingly preferred to get the best value on basic items while avoiding promotions. Households face a 54% jump in the energy price cap as well as higher national insurance contributions and falling real wages.

The latest data will put renewed pressure on major supermarket chains to cut prices after Tesco announced profits had tripled last year.

The search for value has helped Aldi and Lidl, which have seen their sales increase more than any other major grocery chain.

Together, the two companies have welcomed over a million additional shoppers over the past 12 weeks. The two discounters now represent 15.4% of the market, against only 5.5% ten years ago.

Rivals have responded by emphasizing value ranges, with Asda launching its Just Essentials range, Morrisons announcing it is slashing the price of many everyday goods and Tesco boosting savings for loyal customers with its Clubcard discounts.

The figures also show that households are returning to their pre-pandemic shopping habits, with online sales having fallen by almost 15% compared to last year.

“Although online shopping is definitely here to stay, it’s less of a necessity now,” said Fraser McKevitt of Kantar. with last year.

There was also evidence of storage of goods that were particularly affected by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Last weekend, several supermarkets introduced restrictions on cooking oil purchases as concerned consumers filled their cupboards.

The combination of higher prices and increased demand resulted in the cooking oil market growing 17% from April. Sunflower oil and vegetable oil grew even faster, by 27% and 40% respectively.

Russia and Ukraine supply about 60% of world sunflower oil exports.

Overall supermarket sales, however, have fallen by 4.1% in the past month as people return to offices, restaurants and pubs.

Sales are also, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, 0.6% lower than they were two years ago. This period now takes into account the first days of the first confinement.

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