Which? is urging the government to take strong action to support British households manage rising food prices.

New research from the consumer champion found that some food prices have been hiked by up to 175 per cent since 2021.

In recent months supermarkets have been keen to point to a slowdown in year-on-year food inflation, which currently stands at 15.4 per cent according to Which?s own analysis of grocery prices.

However, like official inflation figures, this compares prices now with a year ago, when shoppers had already experienced many months of increased costs.

County Times: Which? has been campaigning for supermarkets to do more to help customers to cope with rising food pricesWhich? has been campaigning for supermarkets to do more to help customers to cope with rising food prices (Image: Getty)

This month, the consumer champion looked at the true scale of grocery inflation since the cost of living crisis began, finding that between June 2021 and June 2023 supermarket prices went up by 25.8 per cent.

Food prices have been impacted by the cost of feed, fertiliser and fuel as well as energy and labour but there have also been poor harvests, bird flu and a weaker pound compounding the issue.

Which?’s findings show some supermarket products have been disproportionately hit with high inflation, which has made affording the weekly shop increasingly difficult for some people.

Many of the major supermarkets have recently cut costs of everyday essentials such as milk and bread, however Which?’s research shows that despite prices decreasing in recent months, own-label British Semi-Skimmed Milk was last week £1.45 for four pints across almost all the supermarkets, 25 per cent more than it was at the same time two years ago (£1.10).

When it came to sliced bread, the same was true across supermarket own-brand Medium Sliced Wholemeal Bread (800g), which went up by a third on average over the two-year period (58p to 75p).

Which? has been campaigning for supermarkets to do more to help customers to cope with rising food prices, including stocking a range of essential budget line items in convenience stores, something Morrisons recently committed to.

Sue Davies, Which? Head of Food Policy, said: “Our research exposes the shocking true scale of food price inflation at supermarkets since the cost of living crisis began and shows why recent headline-grabbing price cuts of a few pence on some products are encouraging, but simply won’t be enough to help people struggling to put food on the table.

“It’s crucial that the government responds quickly to the CMA’s grocery pricing review by updating the rules so they are fit for purpose, as we’ve found pricing practices, both online and instore, to be inconsistent, confusing and sometimes missing altogether.

“All supermarkets should follow the example set by Morrisons and commit to stocking essential budget ranges that enable a healthy diet in smaller convenience stores, particularly in areas where people are most in need.”