At first glance, fruit and veg prices seemed to have fallen slightly, as our basket shows a 2.9% drop in the five weeks since the last survey - a second consecutive drop. However, a large slice of that came from serious discounting by the major retailers on strawberries, which fell 46.5%. Without the half-price special offers in strawberries the basket price would have risen 4%, as six of the 10 items recorded increases.

Bad weather in Israel, where temperatures of -9C damaged crops last March, has led to a 14.1% hike in the price of new potatoes. All four major retailers are sourcing Israeli crop but it is up to 40% down in volume.

"We are likely to see slightly less crop than was planned, but I don't think supplies are going to be affected significantly," said British Potato Council market information manager Rob Burrow. "If anything, it may have a positive effect and extend the interest in main crop potatoes a little longer."

White seedless grapes recovered some of the seasonal 53% price fall in the previous basket with a 12.6% rise, and cherry tomatoes did likewise with a 10.3% rise on the back of last month's 12.1% fall.

Apples, pears and green beans all increased in price, making the basket 1.2% more expensive than at this time last year, 4.3% higher than two years ago, but 4.9% cheaper than three years ago. Onions returned to their pre-Christmas price after losing recent gains.