Food inflation hits five year high

Woman shopping

Food prices are at their highest level in over five years, according to the latest BRC – Nielsen Shop Price Index.

The figures for 4 to 8 March 2019 show that Food inflation shot up to 2.5% from 1.6% in February – the highest rate since November 2013.

Fresh Food inflation accelerated to 1.9% in March, up from 1.7% in February, while Ambient Food inflation saw prices increase by 3.4%, a significant increase on February’s rate of 1.5%.

Global commodity prices and weather events were blamed for the increases. Rises in global cereal prices pushed Bread & Cereal prices up. Last year’s bad weather meant that several UK crops, such as onions, potatoes, and cabbage, saw much lower yields. These products are seeing now significant price hikes.

David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, commented: “Retailers are working hard to keep down shop prices, however cost pressures in the supply chain have built up and are being compounded by increases in government-imposed taxes.

“These pressures are now outweighing the impact of strong competition between shopkeepers, who have little margin to work with, and who are regrettably being forced to pass on some of these costs to consumers.”