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UK Food Inflation Hits Record High As Discretionary Income Evaporates Ahead Of Dark Winter

UK Food Inflation Hits Record High As Discretionary Income Evaporates Ahead Of Dark Winter

Brits have watched double-digit inflation wipe out any wage gains in one of the worst cost-of-living crises in a generation. Many have gone into debt, paying for things such as food, energy, and shelter. Others have been left with little or no discretionary income ahead of a very dark and cold winter.

Research company Kantar published a new survey Tuesday that revealed startling food inflation numbers for October that soared at the fastest pace in 14 years.

Kantar said annual grocery prices rose to 14.7% last month, the fastest since the research firm began tracking prices.

Consumers are expected to pay an additional £682 in their annual grocery bill if they continue buying the same items. 

The survey found that 27% of all households are “struggling financially,” double the amount from last November. Nine in ten respondents said food inflation is a top concern, while energy bills were second.

“So it’s clear just how much grocery inflation is hitting people’s wallets and adding to their domestic worries,” Kantar said. 

Kantar revealed consumers are switching from name-brand items to cheap private-label store brands to save money:

Own label sales have jumped again by 10.3% over the latest four weeks, as shoppers adopt different strategies to manage their budgets. The branded goods market grew far slower at 0.4%.

In a separate study, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found a whopping 7 million families have given up on heating, showers, and toiletries this year due to the cost-of-living crisis squeezing discretionary income.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research, which publishes the Asda tracker, found that after paying taxes for housing, heating, and food, 20% of earners in the second lowest income have nothing left to spend, according to Bloomberg.

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