Cost of living: six in ten have noticed food prices rising in their local shops

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
February 22, 2022, 9:53 AM GMT+0

One in six report major increases in meat prices in the last few weeks

Anti-poverty campaigner and author Jack Monroe recently went viral with a breakdown of why inflation does not translate well to the changes in the price of food. While inflation is up to 5.5% at the start of this year, Monroe’s price tracking demonstrated the cost of some staple foods have increased as much as three-fold in the same time. 

Now, a new YouGov survey shows that the vast majority of Britons have seen prices rise across a range of foodstuffs in recent weeks.

Two thirds (66%) say they have noticed the prices of meat products, including deli meats and fresh produce, have risen. This includes one in six (17%) who have seen major hikes in the cost of these items in their local shops and 28% who have seen moderate rises. Only 11% say they haven’t noticed a change in meat prices. A very small percentage (3%) report a price decrease.

Another 66% have seen prices of dairy items rise – including 11% who have seen major rises and 30% who report moderate increases to the cost of cheese, yoghourt, and milk. 

Price hikes are not limited to animal products. Monroe pointed out as an example that the price of a small bag of apples was up 51% - from 59p to 89p. Some 63% of people say the price of fresh fruit has risen in their local area, including 11% saying there has been a large increase in their cost. 

Perhaps most importantly, Monroe has shown that the price of some essential staple foods such as rice have risen as much as 340%. Around one in eight people (13%) say they’ve seen major increases in the cost of foods like rice and pasta recently, while 26% say they’ve increased moderately, and 23% say they’ve seen a slight increase in their cost – a total of 62%. In comparison, only 17% say they’ve not noticed a change in the cost of these basics. 

A similar proportion (61%) say the price of vegetables in their local shops is up – while 20% say they remain roughly the same. 

Monroe’s price tracking also showed her example loaf of bread had increased 29%, from 45p to 58p. Six in ten (60%) report noticing price rises in bread and baked goods in their area – 8% say there has been a major increase in their cost.

Finally, 59% say the price of jarred and tinned foods have risen in their local shops, with 19% saying the cost of these items hasn’t changed.

See full results here

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