More than a fifth of UK households say they are struggling to make a living with inflation at its highest level in 13 years, with weekly grocery store prices rising 7%.
According to market research group Kantar, 9 out of 10 people are concerned about rising food prices, ranking the problem second after concerns about energy costs as the cost of living crisis takes a toll on their families.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: To put the most recent figures contextually, buying a family fries with toast, eggs, sausage, bacon and beans over a long weekend would cost you £6.83. This is an increase of 40p compared to last year. .”
Overall supermarket sales fell 4.4% in the three months to May 15, according to Kantar, as bars, cafes and restaurants reopen despite price increases and more people can eat out rather than cook at home, Kantar said.
Sales declined across all four supermarket chains, with Morrisons hardest hit. The Bradford-based chain’s sales fell 9.5%, giving it a home-grocery market share of 9.5%, 0.5 percentage points ahead of Aldi.
Discount grocery stores Aldi and Lidl were the only chains to record higher sales as shoppers continued to find ways to cut their weekly spend and open new stores. Lidl’s sales grew 6% and Aldi’s 5.8%, recording new record shares of 6.9% and 9% respectively in the grocery market.
McKevitt said a four-day bank holiday for the Platinum Jubilee in early June is expected to boost spending at supermarkets despite difficult times.
“Looking back on the Diamond Jubilee of 2012, we saw a 10% increase in supermarket sales during the festive week. We must not underestimate our desire for the party, especially the royal family,” he said.
Kantar expects a surge in barbeque food, sumptuous desserts, beer, wine and soft drinks while families gather for long weekends. But McKevitt said shoppers could be more cautious than they were in 2012, for example, as the price of a bottle of sparkling wine rose from £5.20 a decade ago to £7.05.
“We’re all eager to celebrate in style, but shoppers will carefully consider unnecessary expenses, and prices will be significantly different from last week’s Billy,” McKevitt said.