Food price inflation in Ireland has reached 5.5 percent, the first time it has risen above 5 percent since August 2013, according to figures released by research group Kantar.
The number, which reflects the 12 weeks to May 15, marks a sharp increase from the 3.7 percent recorded in the previous 12-week period.
Higher energy prices, accelerated by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, have made it harder for producers to produce and transport food.
Rising food prices are now having a direct impact on consumer behavior as shoppers look for cheaper alternatives or cut down on going to the supermarket altogether. Kantar reported that grocery sales also fell 6.5 percent over the same period.
“People are now making an average of four fewer visits to the supermarket per month than this time last year,” said David Berry, Managing Director of Kantar Worldpanel Ireland.
“Branded goods – a firm favorite when we indulged during the Covid-19 lockdowns – accounted for more than 50 per cent of grocery sales previously in 2020 and 2021,” he said.
However, as consumers begin to buy cheaper own-brand products in-store, branded food spending has fallen to 49 percent over the past 12 weeks. According to Berry, this corresponds to “a decrease of 29 million euros”.
Recent research by Permanent TSB also showed that 62 percent of consumers believe rising prices mean they need to limit the amount of groceries they currently buy.
While Kantar noted the increase in purchases of BBQ supplies following the recent warmer weather, Berry commented that “a visit to the supermarket to buy grilled meat, salad and soft drinks now overall costs you an average of €1 more than it would have cost last year.”
While sales at all retailers were down compared to last year’s lockdown, Dunnes maintained its position as Ireland’s leading retailer for the sixth consecutive year. It now holds a market share of 22.3 percent, up 1.2 percent from this time last year. According to Kantar, the grocer recorded 98,000 new shoppers during that period.
Tesco moved up to second place with a market share of 21.9 percent, closely followed by SuperValu with 21.7 percent. Lidl had a 13.1 percent market share, while Aldi had 12.2 percent.
https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/cost-of-weekly-shop-soars-as-inflation-hits-nine-year-high-41702944.html The cost of weekly groceries rises as inflation hits a nine-year high