Fresh food prices at British supermarkets in early December were 15% higher than a year earlier, the biggest annual increase since at least 2005 when records started, figures from trade body, the British Retail Consortium (BRC), showed on 4 January 2023.
British households were hit hard by a soaring cost of living in 2022, and the Bank of England has forecast that inflation will remain high over the coming months due to the ongoing impact of high energy bills before falling later in 2023.
Annual food inflation jumped to 13.3% in December, up from 12.4% in November, according to the latest monthly report from BRC and data firm Nielsen.
The industry snapshot showed the price of many essential foods rose sharply as the reverberations from Russia’s war in Ukraine continued to drive up energy costs.
The BRC said high prices for animal feed, fertiliser and energy fed into higher food prices on supermarket shelves, while warning that consumers would probably face further increases in 2023.
“It was a challenging Christmas for many households across the UK,” according to the BRC’s chief executive, Helen Dickinson, who further remarked that this year “will be another difficult year for consumers and businesses as inflation shows no immediate signs of waning.”