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Asda came out cheapest despite having the highest level of inflation at 13%

More than a third of the products on this week’s Grocer 33 shopping list have soared in price by at least 20% in the past year.

The scale of the cost of living crisis was laid bare in our mystery shop, which saw several large price hikes. The price of 12 lines were up by at least a fifth year on year, and four of these were up by at least 30%. The standout example was the own-label fries, which were 64% pricier than last year.

Overall, 28 items cost more than a year ago. One line – the Billington’s sugar – was the same price as last August, while just four products had come down in price. The Tropicana, BelVita biscuits, Tilda rice and Butterkist popcorn were all at least 10% cheaper.

Total annual inflation across all five retailers was 9%, though our shopping list was surprisingly 0.05% cheaper than it would have been a month ago.

Asda came out cheapest at £48.02. This was despite having the highest level of inflation at 13%. It was £4.03 cheaper than runner-up Sainsbury’s, whose prices climbed by 12.3%.

Asda offered the lowest price on 21 products and was exclusively cheapest for 12. These included the BelVita biscuits, chicken thighs, shepherd’s pie, Oxo cubes and Volvic Touch of Fruit water. Sainsbury’s was cheapest for 12 lines and exclusively so for six.

Morrisons was £4.49 more expensive than Asda at £52.51. Meanwhile, Tesco was more than a fiver more expensive at £53.20. However, its loyalty cardholders would have received an instant discount of £3.72 due to the Clubcard Prices initiative, narrowing the gap significantly.

Waitrose had the lowest levels of inflation, with prices up just 3.5% on this week last August. However, the upmarket retailer still came out over a tenner more expensive than Asda with a total of £58.30.