Customers are shopping around more than ever before in the hunt for produce and bargains as food inflation hit another record high, according to fresh industry data released this morning.

Figures from market researcher Kantar show that supermarket inflation rose again during the four weeks to March 19 to hit 17.5 per cent, inflicting yet more pain on consumers battling the cost-of-living crisis. It marked the ninth consecutive month of double-digit increases, and amounts to an £837 rise in annual bills for those households that don't change their shopping behaviours.

However, Kantar's Fraser McKevitt said consumers are "clearly" taking action in the hunt for best value.

"Footfall was up in every single grocer this month, with households going to the shops just over four times per week in March," he said. "Apart from Christmas, that’s the highest frequency we’ve seen since the start of the pandemic.

The Herald: Consumers have reduced retail spending to focus on the essentials as inflation rises. Picture: Antony Kelly

“The supermarkets are also tackling grocery price inflation, battling it out to demonstrate value and get customers through their doors. This is a fiercely competitive sector and if people don’t like the prices in one store they will go elsewhere, with consumers visiting three or more of the top 10 retailers in any given month on average.”

Kantar said prices are rising fastest for products such as eggs, milk and cheese. 

Official UK data published last week showed overall consumer price inflation rose to 10.4% in February, pushed up by higher food and drink prices in pubs and restaurants, as well as shortages of salad items. Overall inflation for food and non-alcoholic drinks rose to 18%, the highest since 1977.

The Kantar data for March provides the most up-to-date information on UK grocery inflation.

Great-grandson of Irn-Bru founder to step down after six decades


Robin Barr is to step down from the board of AG Barr after serving as a director of the company for nearly 60 years.

Mr Barr, great-grandson of Barr founder Robert Barr, will not stand for re-election at the Irn-Bru maker’s forthcoming annual general meeting in May, it was announced this morning.

Cost-of-living payment dates confirmed by UK Government


Millions of households across the UK will receive a £301 payment from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) between April 25 and May 17.

It is the first of three payments, totalling up to £900, for those eligible and on means-tested benefits, such as universal credit or pension credit, in 2023/24.

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