Retail prices have been virtually unaffected by soaring energy costs, according to the latest figures from our monthly inflation tracker, The Grocer Price Index.
The survey shows that prices rose by just 0.1% between December and January, which means the average price of our 100-item basket climbed by only 5p to £169.95.
Last year, grocery prices surged by 2.6% between the first weeks of January and February, driven by upward movement in many key products across all fixtures.
Despite this year’s modest month-on-month rise analysts predict hikes over coming months, as suppliers and retailers grapple with escalating energy costs.
David Hallam, food and drink industry analyst at Williams de Broë, said: “The increases we will see will predominantly be due to mounting energy costs. Many retailers will have waited for Christmas to pass before bringing in increased prices.”
Our research shows that grocery prices at the top supermarkets have tumbled by 1.2% since last January.
And retailers say they will resist any upward pressure on prices in the coming months.
Sainsbury said: “Passing costs on to customers is always a last resort.”
Asda, the cheapest retailer in our survey, said: “We always try to offset rising costs to make it cheaper for our customers.”
Tesco said: “Tesco shoppers know we won’t be beaten on price or quality and we’ll work even harder this year to make their shopping more affordable.”
Gaelle Walker