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Grocery price inflation has slowed a little but it’s ‘too soon to call the top’

Big rise in own label sales

Grocery price inflation slowed a little to 17.3% in the 4 weeks to April 16. It was down from 17.5% on the previous 4 weeks but still a frighteningly fast rise.

Household budgets are under real pressure

Research firm Kantar* says the news will be welcome to shoppers but it’s ‘too soon to call the top’. Like most commentators they think inflation will fall soon, but warn there could be upward bumps on the way.

Evidence of real pressure on household budgets comes from increasing demand for alternatives to branded foods. Kantar reports a 13% rise in cheaper own label products and a remarkable 46% rise in the lowest price value lines.

Overall this news from the supermarket industry confirms last week’s official price inflation data. All food price inflation in March reached 19.2%. There is medium-term hope of relief from relentlessly rising prices but not of prices actually falling any time soon. So our messages are:

Shop around, check out good value lines, keep an eye on frozen food and watch out for seasonal bargains.  

* UK grocery price inflation dips but too soon to call the peak

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