Food and non-alcoholic beverage prices rose by 13.1% in the 12 months to August 2022, up from 12.7% in July. The annual rate for this category was minus 0.6% in July 2021 but it has since risen for 13 consecutive months.
Overall the figures showed that inflation fell to 9.9% from July’s 10.1%.
The largest upward effect came from milk, cheese and eggs, where prices of milk and cheese rose between July and August 2022.
Overall prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages have risen throughout 2022, the ONS said, and the 1.5% increase between July and August 2022 was the largest July to August rise since 1995, when a constructed series for food and non-alcoholic beverages showed a 1.6% increase.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Inflation eased very slightly this month, but at 9.9%, it remains a significant concern for households who continue to face a cost of living squeeze. Energy costs are still the biggest component of inflation, and while the latest announcement to limit the rise in the energy price cap is welcome, consumers still face higher bills in October.
“Despite the substantial cost pressures bearing down on businesses and their supply chains, retailers are trying their best to support their customers. This includes expanding value ranges, implementing price locks on key goods, and raising pay for staff.”
This comes as Kantar revealed that take-home grocery sales increased by 3.8% in the 12 weeks to 4 September 2022. It said this was the third month in a row that the sector’s sales have grown after over a year in decline as a consequence of comparisons with the pandemic. The rise comes as grocery price inflation hit 12.4% during the past month, a new record based on Kantar’s data.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “It seems there’s no end in sight to grocery inflation as the rate at which food and drink prices are increasing continues to accelerate.
Now standing at 12.4% for August, the latest figure means that the average annual grocery bill will go from £4,610 to £5,181 if consumers don’t make changes to what they buy and how they shop to cut costs. That’s an extra £571 a year. Categories like milk, butter and dog food are jumping up especially quickly at 31%, 25% and 29% respectively.”