Food and beverage costs are increasing at an all-time high

shopping by a woman

Research suggests that the cost of food and drink in stores is increasing at a record rate, adding pressure to household budgets.

According to research firm Kantar, prices increased at their highest rate ever in the four weeks leading up to February 19th, by 17 point 1 percent when compared to the same period last year.

Four out of ten consumers, according to Kantar, are currently having financial difficulties.

If households did not alter their shopping practices, their annual grocery bill would rise by £811, the report continued.

As producers' costs for labor, energy, and agriculture have increased, food prices have been rising sharply.

According to Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, consumers have been dealing with consistent price increases for some time. "People's lives are being significantly impacted by this.

"Our most recent research indicates that, after energy costs, the public's top financial concern is rising food prices. ".

In an effort to save money, consumers are still choosing supermarket own-brand products, according to Kantar.

When compared to branded goods, sales of own-brand merchandise increased by 13 point 2 percent in February.

According to Mr. McKevitt, who was speaking in response to the recent restrictions that supermarkets have been putting on the sale of fruit and vegetables, "While 43% of all grocery baskets contain at least one fresh produce item, pack limits are unlikely to have a significant impact on consumers as we typically buy fruit and vegetables in smaller quantities.

In the past year, only 1% of tomato purchases included more than three packs, for instance. ".

The figures from Kantar revealed that the discount supermarket chains have continued to grow quickly. Over the previous year, sales at both Aldi and Lidl increased by more than a quarter.

Separately, online merchant Ocado claimed that customers made fewer purchases from it in 2017 than they did the year before.

According to the report, even though this was the same as before the pandemic, the average number of items purchased per visit dropped from 52 in 2021 to 46 last year. Due to people's desire to avoid shopping in stores, online grocery shopping significantly increased during the pandemic.

Tim Steiner, the chief executive officer of Ocado, stated: "Ocado Retail, our UK joint venture with Mandamp;S, has shown its resilience against a background of higher costs and smaller baskets, reflecting the Covid unwind and the UK cost-of-living crisis, by growing customer numbers and increasing online market share.

. "

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