Families spend £15 a week more on foodNew survey finds big hikes in bread, milk and eggs

23 April 2008

A woman pushes a shopping trolley around a supermarket.

The average family is spending £15 a week more on food than they were a year ago, new figures revealed today.

A basket of 24 common supermarket items such as tea bags and pasta sauce costs 15% more than it did 12 months ago, according to a survey.

The figures show inflation is costing a family spending around £100 a week on groceries an extra £780 over a year.

Supermarket survey

The supermarket price survey found six pints of semi-skimmed milk are now 28p more expensive - a rise from £1.68 to £1.96 - than a year ago at Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's.

And the cost of a thick white loaf has gone up by more than 20%, from 54p to 65p, at both Tesco and Asda.

Customers are paying nearly 50% more for a dozen medium free-range eggs at the top three supermarkets, according to MySupermarket.co.uk - from £1.75 to £2.58 at all three.

Pasta price doubled

A packet of fusilli pasta at all three has nearly doubled from 37p to 67p, the survey found.

Also in the basket of goods were cheese, potatoes, bolognese sauce and cornflakes.

Demand for basic agricultural goods has led to huge increases in global grain prices in recent months.

Dairy

Those costs then pass on down the food chain to meat and dairy products as farmers pay more to feed livestock.

Johnny Stern, managing director of MySupermarket.co.uk, said: "The conclusion is that supermarkets are passing on a sizeable amount of the increased costs.

'The average customer cares about the products they need to put in their basket every week that they don't have any choice about.'

Price rise action

The figures are likely to increase pressure on ministers over the government's official inflation level. Critics say it fails to reflect the pain felt by shoppers.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown yesterday called for urgent action to address food price rises at a summit on the issue in Downing Street.

He said ministers would look closely at the impact of demand for biofuels on food prices.

Petrol and diesel

A recent change in the law requires petrol and diesel sold at the pump to include a proportion of biofuel.

Consumers are also being hit by rises in world oil prices. On Wall Street today crude prices hit record highs.

In the UK, pump prices were also affected by the strike threat by workers at the Grangemouth refinery in Scotland.

Higher prices of food and fuel also mean the Bank of England has less room to manoeuvre when it comes to cutting interest rates.

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