Food price inflation eased to 2.6% in the year to mid-February, having been above 3% from November to January, but it remains twice the all-item rate of 1.3%, according to the latest government Consumer Price Index figures.
The slight easing in the food inflation rate was mainly the result of predicted falls in seasonal vegetable prices, particularly potatoes. But the overall figure masks sharp increases in many staple foods. There have been big rises in basic commodities, notably wheat, following poor harvests in Europe and beyond. Several sectors have been affected directly or indirectly, including bread (+7%), pork (+9%), dairy (+4%), and sugar-based products (+7%). Poultry (+7%) has also been affected by the avian flu crisis.