Food price inflation hit record high in December

06 Jan 2023

UK food prices rose at a record rate in December as families stocked up for Christmas, according to data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Food inflation hit 13.3% in December, up from 12.4% in November, the BRC's figures show. It marks the highest monthly inflation rate for food since records began in 2005.

The rise was driven by the high cost of animal feed, fertiliser and energy due to the war in Ukraine, the BRC said. However, prices for non-food items eased as retailers offered big discounts to shift stock, the retail industry body added.

The report found that the overall shop price inflation rate eased slightly to 7.3% for the month. The BRC looks at the change in prices of 500 everyday items every month.

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the BRC, said: 'Not only did the cold snap force people to spend more on their energy bills, but the prices of many essential foods also rose as reverberations from the war in Ukraine continued to keep high the cost of animal feed, fertiliser and energy.

'Non-food price rises eased as some retailers used discounting to shed excess stock built up during the disruptions to supply chains, meaning some customers were able to bag bargain gifts.

'The combined impact was that price increases overall plateaued, with the reduction in non-food inflation offsetting the higher food prices.'