Grocery price inflation show biggest drop since March peak

Grocery price inflation fell to 14.9% in the four weeks to July 9 (Julien Behal/PA)
Grocery price inflation fell to 14.9% in the four weeks to July 9 (Julien Behal/PA)

Grocery price inflation has seen the biggest drop since its peak in March but remains “incredibly high”, figures show.

Supermarket promotions helped the figure fall to 14.9% in the four weeks to July 9, down from 16.5% over the previous month, according to analysts Kantar.

It is the fourth month in a row that inflation has fallen from its peak of 17.5% in March.

The latest drop comes as supermarkets ramp up promotions, with spending on them up for the first time in two years, accounting for 25.2% of the market.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “This will be good news for many households although, of course, the rate is still incredibly high.

“One of the biggest shifts we’ve seen in this area is retailers ramping up loyalty card deals like Tesco’s Clubcard Prices and Sainsbury’s Nectar Prices.

“This could signal a change in focus by the grocers who had been concentrating their efforts on everyday low pricing, particularly by offering more value own-label lines.

“The boost to promotional spending has contributed to bringing inflation down but this isn’t all that’s driving the change. Prices were rising quickly last summer so this latest slowdown is partially down to current figures being compared with those higher rates one year ago.”

Households would have spent £683 more on their annual grocery bill to buy the same items as they did a year previously under the current level of inflation but have adapted their habits to limit the increase.

Mr McKevitt said: “It’s clear that shoppers have dramatically changed their behaviour to combat inflation, whether by trading down to cheaper products or visiting different grocers.

“The average annual increase to household spending over the past 12 months has actually been £330 – well below the hypothetical £683.”

Wimbledon contributed to spending on strawberries and fresh cream rising by 16% and 13% respectively compared with last year, and shoppers will have been relieved to see the average price for a pack of strawberries up by just 1p on last summer.

June’s barbecue weather saw volume sales of chilled burgers up 7% and chilled dips by 5%.

Hayfever remedies grew by 16% over the past month as people dealt with seasonal allergies.

Sainsbury’s sales grew by 10.7%, edging out Asda and Tesco at 10.5% and 10.2% respectively.

Aldi was again the fastest growing grocer, with sales up by 24%.