Belfast Telegraph

Groceries soar 59% in three years

By Simon Read

Ahead of new official inflation figures being published today, a report has revealed that prices of basic foods are far outstripping inflation.

Figures from show that the cost of staples such as flour and rice has soared over the past three years, with pasta and noodles up by more than half, the grocery comparison site said. Rice has climbed 59 per cent while flour is up 58 per cent and pasta is up 51 per cent.

Other pantry essentials have also rocketed in cost, with tinned meat up 53 per cent, tea up almost a third and bread and eggs both up almost 20 per cent. Over the same period, the official inflation figure has increased by just 9.1 per cent.

"The cost of everyday essentials has dramatically increased over the past three years," said Jonny Steel, a spokesman for mySupermarket. "Consumers may feel they are starting to bounce back from the effects of the most recent recession, but they are forking out up to 59 per cent more for some shopping items than they were three years ago."

Prices of staple foods have outstripped the official rate of inflation because of rising concerns about government cutbacks, according to supermarket insiders. Food inflation is soaring as nervous shoppers snap up essentials rather than luxury items.

The Russian wheat crisis could lead to a further increase in the price of basics such as bread, pasta and processed foods. Food analysts have warned that Moscow's ban on the export of wheat could add as much as 15p to the price of a loaf of bread.

Meanwhile, new parents in particular have been hit by the rising prices on essentials. The cost of baby care – such as wipes and creams – has risen by 38 per cent since 2007, while baby milk and drinks have risen by 29 per cent. At the same time baby food and snacks have risen by 21 per cent.

In fact, mySupermarket's basket of groceries has climbed 13 per cent since 2007, with several items falling in price over the past three years.

Cheese is a quarter cheaper than it cost in 2007, with cheddar 23 per cent less expensive. Smoked fish has fallen 14 per cent while fresh fish costs 8 per cent less. However while white meat – turkey and chicken – is 6 per cent cheaper, fresh red meat has climbed 10 per cent.

Belfast Telegraph