A quarter of consumers are now struggling with the cost of weekly groceries


Grocery inflation has risen to its highest level in almost nine years and has doubled year-to-date as consumers brace for continued cost-of-living increases.

Initially, a quarter of consumers say they are now struggling to make ends meet with their weekly grocery shopping.

Figures released this morning by research group Kantar show that food inflation rose to 4.7 percent in the 12 weeks ended April 17. This is the highest level since September 2013.

Kantar senior retail analyst Emer Healy believes that rising inflation will increase the average household’s grocery bill by about $400 a year. Kantar added that 23 percent of those surveyed struggle to pay for their weekly grocery shopping.

This poses a serious threat to the country’s poorest households, who face the prospect of food poverty and have to give up some grocery shopping to pay other bills.

The projected €330 increase in annual grocery bills appears conservative if inflation continues its rapid rise.

The food inflation rate reported today by Kantar represents an increase of 3.7 percent in the 12 weeks ended March 20, nearly double the rate of 2.4 percent in the 12 weeks prior.

Supply chain problems and the war in Ukraine are driving up the prices of commodities from oil to food, with the costs of everything from logistics to staff rising and impacting the tills.

“The impact of grocery inflation is widespread on store shelves and consumers will see the impact on their budgets,” Ms. Healy said.

“Foods like cooked poultry, bread, pasta and butter have seen some of the biggest jumps,” she added. “Retailers are responding to rising commodity prices and are focusing their efforts on offering shoppers low prices every day.”

She said the pandemic is probably no longer at the forefront of shoppers’ minds.

“The number of monthly supermarket visits has continued to decline, with shoppers making an average of 3.5 fewer visits than this time last year, when Covid-19 restrictions were much tighter,” stressed Ms Healy.

“The average spend per shopper has also fallen significantly by €144 as consumers eat more meals out,” he added. “In addition, the types of items we buy have also changed. Sales of instant snacks and frozen pizza are up 9 and 4.3 percent, respectively, over the past four weeks as shoppers turn to quick and easy meals now that many of us are back in the office and juggling school runs again. “
Sales in the Irish food market grew by almost €2 billion during the pandemic.

Total sales in the Irish grocery market were just over €12.7 billion at the end of 2019, based on data from analytics firm Kantar and figures released by Irish retailers.

By the end of 2021, sales had risen to just over 14.6 billion euros.

The latest Kantar data shows that Dunnes Stores had a 22.4% market share based on sales. SuperValu had 21.8 percent and Tesco had 21.7 percent. Lidl had 13 pieces and Aldi had 12.1 pieces.

The latest Kantar data shows the volume of take-home food sales in Ireland fell 7.2 per cent in the 12 weeks to April 17.

That drop comes as life returns to normal after the pandemic. A quarter of consumers are now struggling with the cost of weekly groceries

Fry Electronics Team

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