Data shows where our grocery costs are going

People in Northern Ireland are feeling the pinch at the supermarket check-out, new data shows
Gary McDonald Business Editor

GROCERY sales in Northern Ireland are down by 5.8 per cent year on year as consumers shift back towards shopping little and often, new data from Kantar shows.

It comes as a separate report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that move of the 30 everyday grocery items, from pasta and bread to ketchup and yoghurt, have risen in price over the last year, with five items surging by a whopping 15 per cent or more.

The Kantar data showed that Northern Irish shoppers made two extra trips to store in the latest 12-week period compared with last year but are putting less in their baskets, with volumes declining on average by 10.2 per cent.

“What people are buying has changed too,” says David Berry, managing director for Kantar Worldpanel Ireland.

He added: “Alcohol purchases have dipped now that people can visit restaurants, pubs and bars again, and home baking sales are down as consumers shake off the last remnants of Covid habits.

“The cost of living crisis is now the big issue on shoppers’ minds and annual grocery price inflation in Northern Ireland continues to climb, up from 2.8 per cent last month to 3.6 per cent this period.

“Consumers are returning to tactics they adopted in the last recession to manage the impact on household budgets.

“As well as doing smaller shops more often, some people are making the most of grocers’ promotions and trading down to private label alternatives, which are typically cheaper than brands.”

The data from the ONS reveals 24 out of 30 everyday grocery items studied have shot up in price over the past 12 months, led by pasta (up 50 per cent), crisps (+18 per cent), bread (+17 per cent), minced beef (+16 per cent) and rice (+15 per cent).

But six food types have actually gone down in price since April 2021, including potatoes (down 14 per cent), cheese (down 3 per cent) and sausages (down 2 per cent).

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