UK shoppers are having their budgets squeezed due to soaring food prices amid record inflation.
Official data showed consumer prices index (CPI) inflation rose to 9.4% in June – the highest in 40 years – heaping further pain on households as the cost of living crisis intensified.
It was driven by rocketing fuel and food prices, with the cost of food and non-alcoholic drink rising by 9.8% in the year to June 2022 – the highest rate since March 2009, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Grocery prices lifted 1.2% month on month in June, which follows similar increases in April and May as higher cost pressures and the impact of the Ukraine war filter down to the supermarket shelves.
Which food items are going up in price the most?
The ONS said the largest upward effect came from essentials such as milk, cheese and eggs, but big price rises were also seen for vegetables, meat and other food products, such as ready meals.
Low-fat milk has seen the biggest spike, with prices rising by 26.3% in the year to June 2022.
Butter increased by 21.5%, with flour and whole milk prices rising by 19.3% and 18.6%, respectively.
Olive oil saw an 18.2% jump, while herbs and spices were 17.1% more expensive.
Ready meals are also getting more expensive with a rise of 16.7%, while frozen vegetables jumping 13.2%.
Meanwhile, separate data published this week suggests average grocery bills are set to rise by £454 per year.
Retail research firm Kantar revealed that grocery price inflation leapt to 9.9% over the four weeks to 10 July, rising sharply from 8.3% in the previous month.
Researchers said they saw the fastest prices increase for products such as dog food, butter and milk.
Supply chain issues and labour pressures have added to costs in food production, which are now being fed back to shoppers, they said.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said he expected the overall record for grocery inflation to be surpassed “come August”.
He added: “All this means that people will be feeling the pinch during our first restriction-free summer since 2019."
Grant Fitzner, chief economist at the ONS, said: “Annual inflation again rose to stand at its highest rate for over 40 years.
“The increase was driven by rising fuel and food prices; these were only slightly offset by falling second-hand car prices.”