LONDON: Some staple foods have become cheaper for the first time since last year, according to the latest data by Kantar, a market research firm. This has helped to slow down the overall rate of grocery price increases, which reached the lowest level since July 2022.
The data showed that food price inflation was 11% in the four weeks to 1 October, down from 12.4% in the previous period. This marked the seventh consecutive month of easing inflation, despite the ongoing impact of supply chain disruptions and labour shortages.
One of the factors that contributed to the lower inflation was the drop in prices of some categories, such as dairy. The average price paid for a 250g pack of butter was 16p less than 12 months ago, Kantar said. Dairy prices had soared last autumn due to higher production costs and lower supplies.
Another factor was the increase in promotional offers by supermarkets, which made up over a quarter of all sales in the latest 12-week period. Tesco, the UK’s biggest supermarket, led the pack on promotions, and saw its sales rise by 9.2% and its market share grow by 0.4 percentage points to 27.4%.
Branded products also benefited from promotions, as they grew sales by 7.3% across the 12-week period and narrowed the gap with own-label lines, which grew by 10.1%. Promotions helped consumers save money and try new products, Kantar said.
The unseasonably warm weather in September also boosted sales of ice cream, burgers and dips, which increased by 27%, 19% and 10%, respectively, as people enjoyed BBQs. However, early Christmas shopping was not on the agenda, as fewer people bought Christmas puddings and seasonal biscuits, which fell by 14% and 29%, respectively, compared with last year.