FOOD inflation surged to its highest rate on record since the index started in 2005, according to freshly published data.
According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and NielsenIQ shop price index, food inflation hit 10.6 per cent in September, up from 9.3 per cent in August.
For fresh food, inflation swelled to 12.1 per cent, up from 10.5 per cent in August, also the highest rate in the category ever recorded.
Prices of animal feed, fertiliser and vegetable oil were amped up further this month due to the warin Ukraine, Helen Dickinson OBE, BRC chief executive, said.
This has then caused fresh food inflation to soar over the past few months, especially for items like margarine.
“While the summer drought diminished some harvests, other produce benefitted from the prolonged sunshine, helping to bring down prices for fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, and tomatoes,” Dickinson added.
Overall, shop price annual inflation accelerated to 5.7 per cent in September. This marks an increase from the 5.1 per cent in August and another record for shop price inflation.
Non-food inflation also stood at 3.3 per cent this month, which was slightly above a three month average rates of 3.1 per cent.
Price increases in this category were largely driven by DIY, gardening and hardware products, according to Dickinson, which “have Prices of fresh food were also amped up due to the war in Ukraine been harder hit by rising transport costs,” she explained.
Shoppers are expected to slowdown their discretionary spending in the coming months, with many retailers also worried about meeting their own increasing overheads.
It comes as firms like Aldi and John Lewis have said in recent days they are prepared to sacrifice profit in order to keep prices competitive for shoppers.