Food price inflation up by 1.6% last month

Walton: shoppers expect food prices to increase

Food prices rose by 1.6% last month (December 2010), driven by vegetables, bread, cereals, milk, cheese and eggs, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The rise – the largest ever between a November and December period – put upward pressure on CPI annual inflation, which rose from 3.3% in November to 3.7% in December.

In the same period in 2009, food prices increased by 0.8%.

Petrol also reached a record high of £1.22 per litre in December 2010.

Commenting on the latest inflation data, James Walton, chief economist, IGD, said: “The latest CPI data shows UK shoppers continue to be exposed to a range of global forces which are pushing up the cost of living, particularly food.

“Consumers understand what is going on and anticipate these forces will continue to affect them into 2011. Our ShopperTrack research shows that 88% of shoppers expect food prices to increase in the next 12 months.

“Shoppers themselves have begun to use a range of practical techniques in response to this such as meal planning, comparative shopping, use of the internet and combining their weekly shop with friends and family.”

The IGD research found:

*    52% of shoppers would like to abandon their cars and do all of their food shopping on foot. Half of those (24% of the total) claim they already do so

*    Almost half (49%) of all shoppers would like to produce as much of their own food as possible. Within that group, 15% of the total claim to be doing so already