Food prices rose at their fastest pace since 2008 in August – up 9.3% after rising 7% last month.
The figure comes from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and the NielsenIQ index, which blamed the war in Ukraine and its effect on the price of animal feed, fertiliser, wheat and vegetable oils.
Fresh food prices were 10.5% higher than last August, up from July’s 8% annual increase, with products like milk and margarine seeing the biggest increases.
Annual retail price inflation also rose to 5.1% in August, from 4.4% in July, and is now the highest since 2005, when the BRC index began.
Rising food prices are one of the main drivers of inflation, which reached 10.1% in the 12 months ending in Julyfrom 9.4% in Juneaccording to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Some analysts believe it could top 18% next year when further energy price hikes are expected.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said the outlook was “bleak for consumers and retailers” but that businesses would support people through “discounts to vulnerable groups, widening value ranges, fixing the prices of basic necessities and increasing the salaries of staff”.
But she said rising costs meant ‘they can’t afford all they can afford’.
“The new Prime Minister will have the opportunity to ease some of the cost burden on retailers, such as the upcoming trade tariff increase, to help retailers do more to help their customers,” Ms. Dickinson.
Data from earlier this month showed workers had suffered a record drop in wages in real termsprompting millions of public sector workers to vote in what could be the biggest wave of strikes since the 1970s.
Mike Watkins, head of retail and business insights at NielsenIQ, said: “Inflation continues to accelerate and shoppers are already cautious about how much they spend on groceries, with sales volume falling. in supermarkets in recent months.
“We can expect this level of food inflation to be with us for at least another six months, but hopefully some of the input cost pressures in the supply chain will eventually ease.
“However, with further declines in disposable income this fall as energy costs rise again, retail spending will be under pressure in the all-important last quarter of the year.”