Grocery prices down

Grocery prices remain 0.8% higher than they were this time last year, despite falling a further 0.4% in the period between the beginning of July and August. This latest modest price decrease follows on from the sharper 1% slump that was seen in July, when the hot weather had fuelled an array of summer barbecue promotions at the top four major multiples. At £174.52, the average cost of our secret basket of goods, which is compiled by retail research specialist ESA, has dropped by 69p over the past month. A closer look at some of the items that make up our basket reveals that much of the decrease seen in our latest survey has been driven by a fall in the retail cost of products within the confectionery category. Fresh fruit and vegetable prices have also continued to fluctuate slightly, largely due to seasonality issues and changes in country of origin.

Basket prices up

According to the latest The Grocer 100 survey, average basket prices at Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury and Morrisons have all seen minor rises over the last six months, with the largest increase at Tesco. The retailer's 100-item basket, which costs £173.89, is £5.44 more expensive than it was six months ago, largely due to increases in the alcohol category. The cost of Asda's basket has climbed by just 35p and at £172.85 is the cheapest on our list.

The only retailers to have registered decreases in the cost of their baskets since the beginning of March are Waitrose - cheaper by 37p - and Somerfield. At £196.25, the cost of Somerfield's basket is 99p cheaper than it was in March - evidence that the retailer's price-cutting strategies are coming through.