Shop price annual inflation has hit the highest rate since September 2011 as Brits face a cost of living crunch.
According to data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and NielsenIQ, the metric hit 2.1 per cent in March. This was an increase from 1.8 per cent in February.
Shoppers have flocked to discount retailers and started picking up more own brand products as other bill increases loom this spring.
Food inflation surged to 3.3 per cent last month, the highest rate since March 2013, it has been revealed today.
March marked the fifth consecutive month of inflation, Helen Dickinson OBE, BRC chief executive, said.
She added: “There have been mounting cost pressures throughout the supply chain for some time, including rising wages, input costs, global commodity prices, energy, and transport. Many of these costs are beginning to be exacerbated by the situation in Ukraine, but the full impact on prices is yet to be seen.”
It comes as another barometer placed grocery price inflation at 5.2 per cent for the latest four weeks.
The rate of price hikes hit the highest level since April 2012, according to Kantar’s index published yesterday.
Budget retailers Aldi and Lidl both grew sales 3.6 per cent in the past four weeks, with Aldi hitting a record share of 8.6 per cent and Lidl matching its own record at 6.4 per cent.
Own label products now account for 50.6 per cent of all spending, an increase on 49.9 per cent last year.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “More and more we’re going to see consumers and retailers take action to manage the growing cost of grocery baskets. Consumers are increasingly turning to own label products, which are usually cheaper than branded alternatives.”
Grocers have moved away from selling products at ’round pound’ prices, with the percentage of packs sold at either £1, £2 or £3 dropping significantly from 18.2 per cent last year to 15.9 per cent this March.
For the first time in a year, grocery shopping trips declined as Brits returned to pubs and offices.
Households made 15.4 supermarket visits on average last month, compared with 15.6 trips in March 2021.