Grocery price inflation has risen to a record 14.7 per cent, up by 5.2 per cent in the 12 weeks to 30 October. Data analysis firm Kantar warned that this is not the peak of inflation, and it could rise further in the coming months.
According to the Office for National Statistics, this is the highest recorded 12-month inflation rate since February 1992, when the rate stood at 6.3 per cent.
Supply chain issues caused by Brexit and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as rising fuel and energy prices, have further pushed prices through the roof.
Research showed that British shoppers are increasingly choosing supermarket-label products instead of branded products to keep costs down.
Customers may find some relief where supermarkets have pledged to lower the prices of some products, as retailers fight to keep shoppers from choosing discounters such as Aldi and Lidl.
Here’s everything you need to know about which supermarkets are lowering prices:
Asda has said it is reducing the price of more than 100 grocery staples, including tea bags, rice and cheese.
The move comes alongside the supermarket group’s pledge to increase hourly rates for staff to £10.10 from July, as part of a £73 million investment to support customers and employees.
Research by Asda found that nine in 10 customers are worried about inflationary pressures to their budgets while the disposable incomes of customers dived.
It said products covered by the “dropped and locked” price pledge will see an average reduction of 12 per cent.
The prices of some items could be dropped even further, such as a 25 per cent drop in the price of a bag of Asda easy cook rice to 75p.
It comes after the supermarket cut the cost of products in its Smart price range in February and made them more widely available following criticism by food poverty campaigner Jack Monroe.
Monroe wrote a viral Twitter thread about inflation figures that revealed how the price of the cheapest rice in her local supermarket surged by 344 per cent.
Mohsin Issa, co-owner of Asda, said: “We know that household budgets are being squeezed by an increasing cost of living and we are committed to doing everything we can to support our customers, colleagues and communities in these exceptionally tough times.
“We’re taking unprecedented action to give families some additional stability and certainty in their weekly shopping by lowering and locking over 100 prices until the end of the year.”
Morrisons has said it would offer an average 13 per cent price cut on more than 500 products.
These include cupboard essentials, fridge staples and frozen foods, on products like eggs, baked beans and rice.
The supermarket also cut the price of a quarter own-brand products including Morrisons Savers, Morrisons Wonky in produce and Morrisons Essentials in homeware and health and beauty.
For example, the price of Morrisons paracetamol will now cost 29p instead of 65p, and a pack of four Morrisons beef burgers will cost £3.49 instead of £4.
David Potts, chief executive of Morrisons, said: “We know that our customers are under real financial pressure at the moment and we want to play our part in helping them when it comes to the cost of grocery shopping.
“These price cuts will have a noticeable and long term impact on our customers’ budgets and demonstrate our commitment to offering them the best possible value.”
In September, Aldi pledged to bring shoppers the “lowest grocery prices in the UK” to mitigate the cost of living crisis for its customers.
This is despite the German discount retailer seeing profits tumble by 79 per cent to £60.2m in its British arm last year.
Giles Hurley, chief executive of Aldi UK and Ireland, said in a statement: “Preserving our price discount and rewarding our people will always be more important to us than short-term profit.
“Being privately owned means we can keep our promises even when times are tough.
“The cost of living crisis is worsening and it’s being felt by millions of households across the UK.
“It’s in times like these when our customers rely on us the most, which is why we’re focusing on continuing to deliver our longstanding price promise by offering the lowest possible prices in Britain, every single day.”
Sainsbury’s invested £650m into cutting the prices of essential fresh grocery items such as eggs, milk, meat, fish, fruit and vegetables.
However, the number of products in its Price Lock promise has shrunk by more than a fifth since the start of the year, from 2,100 items in early January to 1,640 in August.
According to The Grocer, the retailer’s Price Lock items – which lists items that are price-matched to Aldi products and won’t go up in price for at least two months after being listed – have been steadily shrinking.
But Sainsbury’s bosses have committed the latest round of investment to bringing the number of Price Lock items back up to 2,000 and to keep them locked at set prices for another month.
Simon Roberts, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, said in September: “We know how tough this ‘back to school’ season is going to be for our customers. With families across the country facing big increases in their energy bills, the situation is serious and our most important job at Sainsbury’s is to help our customers in every way we can.
“We have made huge strides to lower prices since we launched our new plan but we are committed to going further.”
In early October, Tesco announced that it would lock more than a thousand essential items at low prices until 2023 to support customers in the run-up to Christmas.
The supermarket’s Low Everyday Prices campaign covers a wide range or products and brands, including cupboard staples, household necessities, and health and beauty products.
Tesco also has an Aldi Price Match scheme to compete with the discount retailer. The Low Everyday Prices campaign, alongside the Aldi Price Match scheme and own-brand products, as well as exclusive Clubcard member prices cover more than 8,000 products altogether.
Tesco UK chief executive Jason Tarry said that the retail giant hopes that the “extended price-lock commitment gives our customers the certainty of knowing that over a thousand household favourites will stay at the same great price for months to come – helping them budget when they need it most.”