Morrisons Organic whole milk

Source: The Grocer/Joel Chant

The totemic price of a pint of milk is now as much as 89p at Morrisons 

Dairy is at the sharp end of food and drink price increases, with milk leading the charge.

The average price of a pint of semi-skimmed milk has seen a marked step change since July and at a now average 86p, has increased 65% year on year, with Morrisons most expensive at 89p (up 78%).

Inflation on other dairy items, while less extreme, is still considerable: the cheddar is 39% more expensive, the butter is up 33%, with Morrisons again charging the highest prices.

And there were 30%-plus hikes also on the pitta bread, savoy cabbage and veg lasagne.

In total, 27 lines were dearer than a year ago, though six were cheaper. The biggest faller was the Chicago Town pizzas, down 8%, though month on month was a different story.

Overall inflation was 9.6% this week. Sainsbury’s was most affected by rising prices, with its basket costing 11.6% more this week compared with last August. Its traditional big four rivals were all hovering around the 10% inflation mark, while Waitrose’s prices were only up 7.1%.

Asda was the cheapest retailer this week but only when it came to shelf-edge prices. Its £61.60 total was £1.96 cheaper than Tesco. However, factor in Tesco’s Clubcard Prices initiative and it was £1.56 cheaper.

Asda offered the lowest price for 18 products and was exclusively cheapest for eight products including the butternut squash, pork loin steaks and Tilda rice.

Tesco was exclusively cheapest for the Chicago Town pizzas, Kit Kat Chunky bars and Patak’s curry spice paste.

Sainsbury’s was £3.44 more expensive than Asda at £65.04 while Morrisons was a further 10p more expensive.

Despite its lower inflation rate, Waitrose was considerably more expensive than its rivals at £74.07.