The cost of British food staples such as cheddar cheese, white bread and porridge oats have soared on a year ago, according to latest inflation figures from Which?
Overall inflation on food and drink at supermarkets continued to rise in March to 17.2 per cent, up from 16.5 per cent the month before, the watchdog found.
Cheddar cheese prices increased by an average 28.3 per cent across eight major supermarkets – Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose – compared to a year ago.
However, one cheese, Dragon Welsh Mature Cheddar 180g at Asda, increased from £1 in the three months to the end of March last year to £1.80 across the same period this year – an 80 per cent hike year on year.
The consumer group analysed inflation on more than 26,000 food and drink products at the eight supermarkets, and also selected a basket of staple foods including cheddar cheese, sliced white bread, pork sausages, white potatoes and porridge oats to find which of these everyday products had seen the biggest price hikes.
The cost of porridge oats went up by an average of 35.5 per cent across all eight supermarkets compared to the same time last year.
However, the worst single example of inflation on porridge oats was at Ocado where Quaker Oat So Simple Protein Porridge Pot Original 49g went from 94p to £1.56 – an increase of 65.5 per cent.
Large 800g loaves of sliced white bread saw an average increase of 22.8 per cent, but The Bakery at Asda Soft White Medium Sliced Bread 800g increased by 67 per cent from 56p to 94p.
Average inflation in white potatoes was around 14 per cent, but a four pack of baking potatoes at Morrisons increased from 40p to 66p – a rise of 63.5 per cent.
Pork sausages increased by an average of 26.8 per cent across the supermarkets. However Asda’s Just Essentials budget range of eight sausages increased in price by 73.5 per cent from 81p to £1.40, while Tesco’s value Woodside Farms pack of eight went from 80p to £1.39, a 73.3 per cent increase.
According to Bank of England policy maker Catherine Mann, Britain leaving the European Union has helped fuel the highest food inflation in 45 years after causing an exodus of small EU exporters from the UK market.
Mann, an external member of the Monetary Policy Committee, said Brexit is an important driver of the accelerating food-price surge gripping UK households after tangling up EU firms in costly red tape.
In 2017, Jacob Rees-Mogg claimed Brexit would reduce food, wine and clothes costs by 20 per cent as he hit out at ‘Project Fear’ Remoaners.
He has still to comment on the latest figures.
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