The retail price of butter has risen more since 2000 than for any other food category, according to the Retail Price Indices of the Office of National Statistics. In July, 250g of Anchor or Country Life butter cost £1.13, up from just 79p a decade ago [DairyCo].
Butter prices have shot up most rapidly in the past three years, rising 43% between 2007 and 2010. This was largely because until 2007 world market prices had stayed below 2,200 per tonne, the intervention price at which the European Union had committed to buying butter, said DairyCo analyst Arnaud Haye.
After 2007, prices rose above that key benchmark, exposing UK consumers to the vagaries of the world markets.
"World market prices have risen recently because of increased demand from importing countries such as Russia," Haye added.
Wholesale prices for salted bulk butter stood at £3,250 per tonne this week, up from £2,650 a year ago.
Aside from bread prices, which are up 22% since 2007, the biggest hikes were all in fresh food categories. Prices for eggs and pork rose by 46% and 36% respectively, followed by cheese (27%), milk (26%), beef (23%) and poultry (17%).
Between 2000 and 2010, milk, cheese and egg prices rose by just over 40%, while fish was up around 35% and fruit by 33%. Price rises across all food categories averaged 32%.