Cheese ]GettyImages-664658023

The price hikes mean some SKUS are now up to 175% more expensive year on year

Major cheese lines have seen fresh price increases over the past two months, analysis by The Grocer has revealed. 

And the latest wave of hikes, involving a mix of both domestic and imported cheeses mean that some lines are up to 175% more expensive than they were a year ago.

Of the 877 core cheese lines available at the traditional big four, 14% (or 123) of the category’s SKUs have seen a price increase of more than 10% since the start of December, the data from Assosia shows.

In total, some 325 (or 37%) of SKUs have seen price hikes over the past two months. The average price increase during this period was 23p per product, or 8.7%

The biggest price hikes were for a Pilgrims Choice Grated 180g Extra Mature Cheddar and a Sliced variant (150g) at Morrisons. The two lines saw their prices rises by 50% between 5 December and 2 February, increasing from £1.50 per pack to £2.25, which equates to a £4.2/kg and a £5/kg increase in price respectively,

But cheese at other retailers were not far behind. A Castello Soft Cheese with Pineapple SKU stocked at Asda saw the next largest rise, up 49.4% since the start of December, as the price rose from £1.54 to £2.30. This time last year the line cost £1.20 per pack, equating to a 91.7% year-on-year increase.

Other Pilgrims Choice lines also saw significant hikes during the past two months. Four lines at Morrisons rose by 23%, while three rose by 20% in Tesco. Six of the brand’s lines in Sainsbury’s saw their price increase by between 12% and 13.7% over the same period.

Even where the price hikes are lower than 10% it still adds to already significant annual inflation. 

A Tesco Cheddar Black Pepper Truckle has seen an annual increase of 175%, while a Tesco Finest Smoked Baking Brie has risen by 100% year on year.

Additionally, some 69 lines have seen rises of over 50% in the past year, including household staples such as Asda’s own brand range of block cheddars in Mature, Medium and Mild variants, which all saw 50.8% price hikes.

Responding to a request for comment by The Grocer, an Asda spokesman said the retailer was the “lowest-priced traditional supermarket and we continue to do all we can to keep prices in check for customers”. 

”Some categories, including dairy, are seeing higher levels of inflation and production costs than others and these increased costs are reflected in the price of certain products,” he added.

A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “With costs going up, we are working hard to keep prices low. Last year we announced that we would invest over £550m by March 2023 into lowering prices as part of our goal to put food back at the heart of Sainsbury’s. 

“We’re committed to doing everything we can to support customers with the rising cost of living,” she added. “Through initiatives such as our Aldi Price Match campaign, Price Lock and My Nectar Prices, customers can find low prices on the products they buy most often both in stores and online.

“Our focus on value means that all our customers will find great deals when they shop with us and do not need to go anywhere else to get the best prices on their weekly shop.”

The Grocer has also approached Tesco and Morrisons for comment.