New figures show that the price of basic groceries such as butter, milk and cheese rose by 30% year-on-year in December, whilst overall food and drink inflation hit 15% in the same month.
According to Which? Milk is 26% more expensive than the previous year, with cheese at 22.3%, water is up by 18.6%, bakery products are 19.5% higher and pastries also saw a higher-than-average increase at 18.5%.
Which? head of food policy Sue Davies said: “We know food prices have risen exponentially in the last year and our inflation tracker shows the dramatic impact this is having on everyday products at the supermarket.
“Some households are already skipping meals to make ends meet and our findings show trust in supermarkets taking a hit as many people worry, they are putting profits before the people suffering during this cost-of-living crisis.
“Supermarkets must do more. Which? is calling for them to ensure everyone has easy access to basic, affordable food ranges at a store near them, particularly in areas where people are most in need, as well as pricing which enables people to easily work out best value and promotions to support people who are particularly struggling.”
A Waitrose spokeswoman said: “Which?’s own research released today shows that our price inflation was in fact lower than the market average. We’re working very hard with our suppliers to ensure we offer great value, while continuing to deliver industry-leading animal welfare standards, fresh produce grown with care and fair deals for farmers.”
An Asda spokesman said: “We’re working hard to keep prices in check for customers and remain the lowest-priced major supermarket – a position recognised by Which? in their regular monthly basket comparison which has named Asda as the cheapest supermarket for a big shop every month for the last three years.”
An Aldi spokeswoman said: “We are the lowest-priced supermarket in Britain. Our customers will always pay less for their shop with Aldi and that is why Which? has named us as the cheapest supermarket in 2022.”
Tesco said: “With household budgets under increasing pressure, we are absolutely committed to helping our customers by keeping a laser focus on the cost of the weekly shop. Earlier this week, we were pleased to be recognised by The Grocer as the retailer doing the most to keep prices down right now.”
Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, said: “Retailers understand the pressure households are under and are doing everything they can to limit price rises on their products.
“Unfortunately, the war in Ukraine has pushed up the cost of many items including wheat, fertiliser and animal feed, as well as global energy prices, leading to higher prices for many staples.
“Despite these challenges, retailers are determined to support their consumers with the cost of living and provide local communities with easy access to affordable food by expanding value ranges, keeping the price of essentials down and introducing discounts for vulnerable groups.
“Fierce competition for customers is also helping to keep prices as low as possible, despite the spiralling costs retailers face.”