Food and drink prices have risen by the sharpest rate since 1980, new figures have revealed.
Amid the ongoing cost of living crisis, the rise in the cost of groceries has hit 14.5% in the year to September – adding to the average weekly shop for millions of people across the UK.
Driven by the war in Ukraine, the cost of fertiliser and animal feed has risen significantly due to the impact on grain supply from the region.
Global meat prices have jumped as a result, while the knock-on effect to oil production in the regions has also hit the price of sunflower oil and other fats.
The price of basic food staples have all risen as a result, meaning those already struggling with bills and food shopping are further feeling the pinch.
Food and drink prices have also been affected by the recent weakness in the pound, which has caused more expensive imported products and ingredients.
Which food items are going up in price the most?
The price of low fat milk has seen the biggest surge in price over the last 12 months, increasing by a staggering 42.1%, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Basics like margarine and whole milk have also seen price increases of over 30%, while flour has seen a 29.6% rise.
The cost of staple items like cheese and pasta have gone up by 23.1% and 22.7% respectively, while the cost of frozen vegetables has increased by a fifth.
Ready meals, often bought as cheap and quick alternatives to home cooked dinners, have also risen in price by 19%.
Watch: Inflation surges back to 40-year high after food prices soar
Karen Betts, chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation, said that manufacturers have “no choice” but to increase prices for consumers.
She said: “Food and drink manufacturers continue to do everything they can to keep product prices down, but huge rises in ingredient, raw material, energy and other costs mean they have no choice but to pass some price rises on.”
Rocio Concha, Which? director of policy and advocacy, said the figures explained "why millions of people are already in a dire financial situation as they struggle to put food on the table".
She added: "With government help on energy bills now set to end in April and mortgage rates on the rise, it’s clear many more households face a terrifying cliff edge in the months to come and current government help will not be sufficient."
Concha called on supermarkets to "do more to help customers find the best deals for their budget".
The soaring food are contributing to rocketing inflation, which has returned to the 40-year high it hit earlier this summer.
The ONS said Consumer Prices Index inflation reached 10.1% in September, compared with 9.9% in August.
It was above the expectations of economists, who had predicted a figure of 10%.
The figure matches the 40-year high inflation hit in July and remains well above the government’s target of 2%.
Shadow levelling up secretary Lisa Nandy described the latest inflation figure as “catastrophic for a lot of people” and said it was time the government “got a grip”.
New chancellor Jeremy Hunt said the government would prioritise help for the vulnerable after the figures were released.