Grocery inflation drops 2% but poor weather continues to impact sales

Grocery price inflation fell by 2.2 per cent to 12.7 per cent in the four weeks to six August, according to new data.

Kantar said the latest slowdown in inflation marked the sharpest monthly fall since it started monitoring grocery inflation in 2008.

Kantar also found that unseasonably poor and rainy weather affected sales on summer favourites, with volume sales of ice cream down by 30 per cent and soft drink sales almost a fifth lower than 12 months ago.

While prices remain elevated on a year-on-year basis across every supermarket shelf, Kantar found price moderation across many staple items compared with earlier in 2023.

Data showed that shoppers paid £1.50 for four pints of milk last month, down from £1.69 in March, while the average cost of a litre of sunflower oil is now £2.19 – 22p less than in the spring.

Sales of own-label items were up 9.7 per cent in the four-week period, while branded products rose by 6.4 per cent, with Kantar noting that while own-brand items continue to outpace branded, the gap between the two is closing.

The data showed that the overall average increase in households’ weekly grocery shop was £5.13 compared with last year – 50 per cent below the £11.27 extra cost consumers would have paid if they had bought the exact same items as 12 months ago based on the current rate of inflation.

The firm’s findings eclipse earlier data recorded by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), which showed that food inflation dropped to 13.4 per cent during the four-week period to 31 July, putting food inflation levels at their lowest since December 2022.

At the time, BRC chief exec Helen Dickinson said: “Shop price inflation fell to its lowest level of 2023 and, for the first time in two years, prices fell compared to the previous month.”

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