Supermarket own-brand and budget products have increased in price more than premium and branded foods during the cost of living crisis.
Consumer champion Which? analysed annual inflation on tens of thousands of food and drink products across seven months at eight major supermarkets, including Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.
It found that own-brand and budget ranges have gone up by as much as 18%. This was compared to around 13% for premium own-brand ranges and 12% for branded items.
Households have increasingly turned to cheaper products due to the cost of living crisis and soaring bills. The latest Kantar figures show own-label sales are up 11.7% year on year and the cheapest value own-label lines are up 46.3%.
Which? found the biggest year-on-year price increases on supermarket budget food and drinks for the quarter ending in October were on Creamfields Soft Cheese (200g) at Tesco - up from 49p to 84p, a 72% increase – and Sainsbury’s Simply Muesli (1kg) which went from £1.20 in 2021 to £2.03 in 2022 – a 70% increase.
The 20 worst budget products for inflation across the supermarkets for the same period included Tesco products which have all soared above 60% in price over the year. These included:
- Hearty Food Co. 2 Garlic Chicken Kievs (260g)
- Growers Harvest Orange Juice (3X200ml)
- Rosedene Farms Small Pear Pack (550g)
Sainsbury’s groceries also saw some of the highest inflation on budget items, which have gone up by over 50%. These included:
- Hubbard’s Foodstore Sparkling and Still Waters (2L),
- J James & Family Fresh British Chicken Breaded Kyiv with Garlic Butter x2 (240g)
- Mary Ann’s Dairy Soft Cheese 200g
According to Which? findings, the worst supermarkets for overall inflation on food and drink were Aldi (up 19.6%) and Lidl (19%). However, both discounters still tended to be the cheapest of the big supermarket chains.
They were followed by Asda (15.2%), Morrisons (14.4%), Waitrose (14.2%), Sainsbury’s (13.7%) and Tesco (12.6%). Ocado had the least inflation overall (10.3%).
‘The shocking scale of soaring food and drink prices’
Sue Davies, Which? head of food policy, said: “Our inflation tracker lays bare the shocking scale of soaring food and drink prices – including on budget and own-brand products.
“We know the big supermarkets have the ability to take action and make a real difference to people struggling through the worst cost of living crisis in decades.
“That’s why we’re calling on them to ensure everyone has easy access to basic, affordable food lines at a store near them, can easily compare the price of products to get the best value and that promotions are targeted at supporting people most in need.”