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A raft of menstrual care products have risen in price in the supermarkets over recent weeks

Sanitary towels and tampon prices are soaring in the mults – despite the abolition of the 5% ‘tampon tax’ VAT rate on the products in early 2021.

A raft of menstrual care products have risen in price in the supermarkets over recent weeks, pushed upwards by cost inflation and supply chain challenges, research by The Grocer has found [Assosia 17 w/e 11 March 2022].

Tesco doubled the price of its cheapest sanitary towels, compared with this time last year, MoneySavingExpert.com revealed last week. But there’s inflation across the mults. Bodyform Ultra Goodnight Sanitary Towels 10 Pack, for example, increased in price by 7.7% from £1.20 to £1.30 in Tesco on 24 February.

Sainsbury’s Ultra Night Sanitary Towels Wings x20 rose 4.5% from £2.20 to £2.30 on 1 March.

On 7 February, Tampax Regular Tampons 20pk increased 1.6% from £1.87 to £1.90 in Asda.

Inflation across sanitary care products was “making people increasingly stressed, having to leave behind these necessities”, said Tina Leslie, founder of period poverty charity Freedom4Girls. “We are seeing more people attending food banks and asking for period products.”

A spokesman for Bodyform owner Essity said it was “experiencing unprecedented cost inflation, resulting from several factors including significant increases in energy and fuel costs.”

“We continue to support our charity partner In Kind Direct by donating 100,000 sanitary pads per month to their network of charities across the UK”, he said.

A Tesco spokesman said: “We know the cost of buying essential period products can be a real struggle for many, so we work hard with our suppliers to make these products affordable.”

The Grocer has approached Sainsbury’s, Asda and Tampax owner P&G for comment.