The groceries whose prices have risen by 20% in two years in supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda

The cost of groceries has risen, but now an investigation by consumer group Which? has found that many are up 20%, as are supermarkets offering fewer discounts

A customer browses the fruit and vegetable aisle in a Tesco
A big which? Research has revealed how the cost of groceries affects shoppers

hundrets of grocery store Prices have risen by more than 20% in two years, according to research by consumer group Which?

The consumer champion analyzed the prices of more than 21,000 foods over a period of two years.

Which? compared their average prices at eight major supermarkets between early December 2021 and late February 2022 with the same period two years earlier.

The consumer champion noted that the price of 265 groceries has skyrocketed by more than a fifth in the past two years.

This list of included items Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes Cereal 500g, the price of which has increased by 21.4% at Tesco.

Asda’s Own Label Closed Cup Mushrooms 250g was up 21.4% and Cathedral City Extra Mature Cheddar 350g was up 21.1% at Ocado.

About the 20 categories of food Which? considered, carbonated beverages had the largest average price increases at 5.9%. This is followed by butter and spreads (4.9%), energy drinks (4.8%) and milk (4.6%).

The foods with the lowest inflation included chocolate (1.4%), fresh fruit (1.6%), cookies (1.8%) and vegetables (1.9%).

Which? also found that there were fewer discounts, smaller products at the same price and limited availability of budget ranges of private label in different supermarkets.

The number of promotions has reduced in all 20 categories of popular foods that the consumer champion looked at.

The number of discounts on bottled water fell by 14.7%, vegetables by 11% and energy drinks by 10.8%.

The amount of savings offered on promotions that were still running had also been cut in three quarters of the categories.

This was most notable for butter and spreads, where savings fell 3.6% over the two-year period, followed by vegetables (3.5%) and crisps (2.9%).

Another method manufacturers have used to try to hide rising prices is “shrinkflation” – reducing package size without lowering the price.

For example, Nescafé Azera Americano instant decaffeinated coffee shrank from 100g to 90g at Tesco in February this year, but its price remained at £5.49.

That’s an effective price increase for buyers of 11% per 100g.

Similarly, Walker’s Classic Variety Crisps went from 24 bags in a multipack to 22 bags at Tesco, Asda and Morrisons last autumn, but stayed the same price.

The investigation of which? also found that private label budget ranges have become less available over the past two years. Own brand budget ranges had the lowest inflation rate at just 0.2%.

Standard ranges increased in price by 2.8% and the highest inflation was recorded in premium private label ranges, which experienced inflation of 3.2% over two years.

Which? Sue Davies, head of food policy and consumer rights, said: “During an unrelenting cost of living crisis, consumers should be able to easily select the product that suits them without worrying about shrinking or the budget ranges of their local stores.

“Which? is calling on supermarkets and manufacturers to be more open about costs and offer really clear unit prices so people can easily compare items. Budget ranges should also be more widely available in all stores so consumers don’t overspend on everyday essentials have to pay.”

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Fry Electronics Team

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