Food Prices: How High Will They Go?

Food inflation in Britain is continuing at a rapid pace, with some items more than 50% more expensive than a year ago. So how far will prices go, and what can we all do to save money? 

Kate Quilton meets The Green Family from Rochdale who try out the Tonight pop up shop in Greater Manchester. Kate splits the family into two teams, and gives each of them a shopping list and some cash to spend. Kate has stocked the shop with items from a range of different supermarkets. 

On each list are seven products found in a typical weekly shop. One team gets charged the average price of each item a year ago and the other team is charged the average prices this year. Every single item in the trolley has risen in price by more than 50%.

We meet Ioan Humphreys who runs an egg farm in mid Wales, with a flock of 32 thousand birds, he has been hit by prices soaring for energy and grain. Ioan claims that last year although the supermarkets increased their prices of eggs for the consumers this didn’t filter down to the farmers and Ioan was in fact producing a dozen eggs at a loss of 16 pence.

Ioan says the higher prices have now started to trickle down to him, and he is finally getting paid a fairer price.

The British Retail Consortium, who represent supermarkets, told Tonight: 

“Many supermarkets have seen profits fall in the last year due to high costs.. despite this retailers are investing heavily in lower prices for the future.. have expanded their affordable food ranges, locked the price of many essentials, and continue to offer support to vulnerable groups. When cost pressures… do ease, prices will follow fast as they fiercely compete for market share.”

A growing number of people in the UK may be going hungry but at the same time, we have a big problem with food waste: an estimated £1.2 billion worth of food is binned every year. We met with the organisers of a Hubbub Community fridge in Waterloo, London. You can watch Hubbub here:

We may be feeling the pinch now, but historically in the UK we actually spend a lower proportion of our income on food, compared to other Western countries. Experts say recent food inflation is highlighting vulnerabilities in our economy and food system.

So there are ways we can try to bring down our food bills by cooking and shopping smarter - or seeking the support that’s out there in our local communities. But it could be some time before we get any respite from the prices we’re paying at the supermarket tills.

Useful Links

  • If you’re struggling to buy food go to The Trussell Trust website where you can request a food voucher, speak to someone on the phone or find out where your local food bank is

  • If you need any help or advice with money go to Money Helper for free guidance

  • Head to Hubbub to find out where your closest community fridge is

  • Check out the tips and tricks on how to save money on your supermarket shopping bill on the Money Saving Expert website

Olio is a local sharing app for passing on things you no longer need to people who live nearby, food and other items can be found on the app