Food prices set to climb through 2014


Supermarket and restaurant prices are set to rise through the course of the year as food inflation is outstripping general inflation.

Food price inflation is now 3.8%, according to research from Prestige Purchasing, while the Bank of England's official measure of inflation is running at 1.9%.

This will have the effect of putting up the price of food bills in shops and restaurants as food sellers will be forced to pass on increasing wholesale costs to customers.

Not even promotions and pledges to match prices will be enough to keep prices down on staples such as meat, bread, milk and cheese.

In fact, UK households could have to pay out an extra £850 a year on food until 2018, a period in which £19 billion could be added to UK grocery bills, according to retail experts Conlumino.

Between 2000 and 2013, there has been a 51% rise in food price inflation, it added. 


"There is a world food shortage," said Neil Saunders, a retail analyst at Conlumino.

"There is a lot of demand particularly for dairy and meat coming from Russia and China but there's no quick fix when it comes to farming. Prime agricultural land found in Western markets is already yielding as much as current technology and farming methods allows. It could be another 10 years before scientific advances increase yields further. That means prices will rise."

He added that freak weather around the world has further hindered supply.

The cost of fruit has risen more than any other type of food, according to Prestige, up more than 10% year-on-year.

Vegetable and meat price are up by more than 5% and sugar, chocolate and sweets are up by 1%.

Drinks prices are soaring too, with wine prices rising by 16% year-on-year.

So how can you keep your grocery bills down?

  • Try low-cost supermarkets. 'Back to basics' shops like Aldi, Lidl and Iceland may not stock your favourites, but you'll save money by shopping there.
  • Be wary of buy-one-get-one-free promotions. 'Bulk buy' offers may seem a good idea, but many deals are only useful if you normally buy the product on offer in the first place and can store the extra items. In fact, smaller equivalents may work out cheaper, so always check the individual price first.
  • Write a shopping list. Avoid overspending by planning your meals and writing down what you need. Supermarkets thrive on customers not knowing exactly what they want and buying items they don't need.

More about

Your Comments

I began shopping at Lidl over 15 years, when I was at Uni.  I now shop at either Aldi/Lidl for basics, tinned toms, sweetcorn, butter, eggs, olive oil and wholemeal bread  I also love Parmesan cheese, but Sainsbury's/Tesco/M&S charge way too much for this. My favourite is the Cornish sea salt butter from Aldi, and the wines are fantastic - the Carmeniere blend and Montepulciano D'abbruzo are both amazing value.
The fruit and vegetable quality is excellent also.  Can't beat the chocolate selection either around Christmas or Easter.
These two "discounters" are nearer to me than either of the big 4, and I NEVER shop at Asda, simply because I need change to put into parking meter before I've even started, and it's built in a part of the town, on a one ways system that is awkward to get to.
Certain brands I won't switch from are Heinz baked beans, tomato ketchup, and Helmans Mayo. However I have just read that Aldi's beans are good, so next time I'm there, I'll try them.
I have lots of International food stores in walking distance from me, and I find that I shop at them more and more, especially for Polish ham/sauages, mineral water and Gouda. I love the variety, and quality that I never find in Tesco etc, without paying the earth.
I shop once every 10 days, for a family of 3 and when I have to do  admin tasks I nip into the local stores and top up.
Those "food snobs" who have finally caught on, and have stopped looking down their noses are way behind the rest of us, who have seen value and quality for the longest time.
The car park at my local Lidl is bursting to the seams now, and they have increased it overall by 60%, along with a gleaming store revamp which includes a bakery.
The big 4, have had it good for too long. My Tesco metro is rubbish, and that is after the so called improvement, so I seldom visit there even when in the centre of Town.