UK food prices up by as much as 175%
Price hikes in the UK are triggered by several factors, including the increase in agricultural supply, energy, and labor.
A consumer group in the United Kingdom has alerted the country's authorities to the parabolic spike in food costs over the last two years, requesting immediate action to protect consumers amid the country's unparalleled cost-of-living crisis and surging inflation. According to a report published on Sunday by the consumer group Which?, some food costs have risen by 175% since 2021.
The organization discovered that food and drink costs grew by 25.8% on average between June 2021 and June 2023 after investigating eight large department stores, including Tesco and Lidl. It stated that the figure was derived from an examination of over 21,000 food and beverage products.
What factors triggered the spike in prices?
Price rises have been attributed to a variety of factors, including increases in the cost of agricultural supplies, energy, and labor. Which?" however, said its findings show that some supermarket products have been hit with disproportionately high inflation.
"Two years of relentlessly soaring food prices have had a devastating impact on households," said Sue Davies, the head of food policy at "Which?", adding, "This isn’t helped by the confusing and inconsistent pricing practices used by some supermarkets, which make it incredibly difficult to work out how to find the best value products."
The absence of unit prices, according to the group, is an obvious example of such pricing regulations, preventing buyers from comparing value for money between different-sized packages, bottles, and brands.
Meanwhile, UK retailers have denied charges that they profited from the cost-of-living crisis. "The hard work being done by retailers to absorb cost increases means the UK offers among the cheapest grocery prices in Europe," alleged the British Retail Consortium's Chief Executive Helen Dickinson.
UK's skyrocketing inflation
A groundbreaking research report published last month exposed the agonizing amount of food poverty across the United Kingdom, as the general public grapples with skyrocketing inflation and the highest cost of living in a generation.
According to a new report by the Trussell Trust, more than eleven million people, or one in every seven people in the UK, went hungry last year due to a lack of funds.
The organization revealed that these current findings are merely the tip of the iceberg, and the lack of funds is not confined to hunger pangs among underprivileged Britons. The new revelation came as governments across Europe have been struggling with high inflation.
Last month, the French government obtained a guarantee from 75 food firms to reduce prices on hundreds of products. Hungary, for its part, has enforced mandatory price reduction, while the United Kingdom has expressed alarm about rising food prices without proposing any price controls.