Price inflation on groceries has risen to record levels, with shoppers switching to cheaper “wonky” fruit and vegetables and supermarkets’ own-label goods to cope with higher food costs (The Times £). Rising inflation sharply pushed up household food costs in September adding £643 to the average annual bill, according to new data (The Financial Times £).

Households are turning to “wonky” vegetables and frozen food in an attempt to keep costs down as grocery prices soared by a record 13.9% last month (The Guardian). Grocery inflation is running at 13.9% over the 12 weeks to 2 October - meaning that the average annual bill was £643 more expensive, Kantar Worldpanel data shows (Sky News). That means shoppers could be paying on average an extra £12 a week for food and other groceries (The BBC).

Shoppers are flocking to Aldi and Lidl as grocery prices rise at the fastest rate on record. The German discount super-markets are picking up huge numbers of customers looking to cut the cost of a weekly shop. (The Daily Mail)

Consumers also appear to be searching for cheaper ways to cook rather than using their ovens, with sales of cooking appliances including slow cookers, air fryers and sandwich makers, which generally use less energy, up by 53%. (Sky News)

The chief executive of Marston’s says the fallout from the UK government’s “mini” Budget has been “incredibly unhelpful” for consumer confidence, even as sales at the pub chain surpassed pre-pandemic levels in the latest quarter (The Financial Times £). The boss of Marston’s reported strong drink sales yesterday as he admitted that the pub company had been putting too much emphasis on food (The Times £). Marston’s like-for-like sales are now 3% above pre-Covid levels with customer demand ‘remaining encouraging’ despite economic uncertainty (The Daily Mail).

Pret a Manger is investing £10m in raising pay, announcing its third rise in 13 months to a minimum of £10.30 an hour, as hospitality and retail businesses compete to attract workers during the busy run-up to Christmas. (The Guardian)

Co-op is trialling reduced lighting in stores as a way of saving money as energy bills continue to soar. The supermarket is rolling out dimmer lighting in around 500 of its 2,500 convenience stores across the UK. (The BBC)

The International Monetary Fund has doubled down on criticism of the chancellor’s mini-budget, days after warning it will fuel rising prices. It expects high prices to last longer in the UK with only Slovakia out of the eurozone set to see higher inflation. (The BBC)

Three major UK safety and competition regulators are struggling to adapt to expanded roles after Brexit, leaving businesses and consumers facing increased safety risks and higher costs. Agencies are grappling with shortages of vets and toxicologists needed to monitor food safety. (The Financial Times £)