Supermarket bosses will be probed this week on whether or not they are profiteering from high prices.
Lead figures from UK ‘Big four’ grocers, including Morrison’s boss David Potts, will face questions from MPs on Tuesday on red hot food and fuel prices, and when customers might see price falls.
Sainsbury’s’ food commercial director, Tesco’s commercial director and Asda’s chief commercial officer will also be in attendance.
Inflation on groceries eased in May, but it still sits at 18.4 per cent, sinking slightly from 19.1 per cent the prior month, recent figures from the ONS show.
Households are continuing to feel the financial strain of soaring costs with nearly half of adults telling the government office that they were “buying less when shopping for food”.
Supermarkets have remained in the firing line over price hikes having previously been accused by the government of “greeflation” meaning they keep grocery costs higher than necessarily required.
The questioning comes during an ongoing investigation from the competitions watchdog who are also evaluating whether stores have had financial gain from the cost of living crisis.
However this notion has been strongly rebuffed by the sector, with the former chief executive of Sainsbury’s, Justin King telling City A.M last week the idea “doesn’t even pass a basic smell test.”
“There is no profiteering,” King said. “It is not grounded in the reality of publicly available and reported numbers.”
Over the past few months, Supermarkets have introduced a string of price cuts and loyalty schemes in efforts to give shoppers the best possible prices on their food shop.
Parliament will also quiz bosses on fuel prices after the CMA found that issues in competition are also contributing to high prices for drivers.
The industry body previously raised concerns that Asda’s £611m takeover of 132 Co-op petrol stations would push up fuel prices.
The British grocery chain handed back 13 of the sites it acquired this year to be cleared by the watchdog.
City A.M has contacted the British Retail Consortium and Asda for a comment.