The prices of everyday household goods have surged in the past six months – according to new analysis.
For months, shoppers have faced rising bills from fuel to food, and the latest results follow an investigation by the Newsquest Digital Optimisation Team, who have tracked the collective prices for ten common items in the weekly food shop at the UK’s biggest supermarkets – including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons and Aldi.
The prices of these common items were analysed as part of our #YourMoneyMatters campaign, launched by this title and many other local news brands across the UK owned by Newsquest.
The campaign was set up to help readers overcome the surge in the cost of living.
As we have seen a whole host of household price increases this year — from the energy price cap rise to surging inflation and food prices — costing households hundreds or even thousands of pounds extra per year.
We’re making it our mission to look out for your cash, offering money-saving deals, competitions, giveaways and insightful stories from your community on the impact this cost of living crisis is having on our readers like you.
The worldwide energy crisis exacerbated by the Ukraine invasion, the financial impact of the Covid pandemic, record inflation figures and a surge in the cost of goods, fuel and travel means we will all feel the pinch.
What items did we look at?
Over the past six months, between June 28 and December 19, 2022, we tracked the collective totals of 10 essential items in the weekly food shop at the UK’s five biggest supermarket chains – Aldi, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.
The items tracked were as follows: Medium white bread loaf (800g), 2 pints of semi-skimmed milk, Block of mature cheddar (350g or 400g), Unsalted butter (250g), Bag of granulated sugar (1kg), Pack of 80 tea bags (caffeinated), Medium whole chicken (uncooked), Tin of chopped tomatoes (400g), Medium Free Range eggs (12 pack), and Pack of 4 toilet rolls.
To make the comparisons as fair as possible, the prices of supermarket own-brand items were tracked across all retailers, such as Tesco’s 800g White Bread loaf and Aldi’s Cowbelle 250g British Unsalted Butter.
What did the findings reveal?
The findings revealed that Asda had the sharpest rise in the collective prices of the ten items we tracked – from £15.58 on June 28, to £18.96 on December 19.
Meanwhile, the cheapest shopping basket for the ten products was Aldi, which saw the smallest price rise over the 12-week period – from £14.17 on June 28, to £16.46 on December 19.
Elsewhere, Morrisons had the second highest collective price increase – from £16.96 on June 28, to £18.73 on December 19.
Sainsbury’s had the third highest collective price increase – from £16.35 on June 28, to £18.44 on December 19.
Tesco had the fourth highest collective price increase on its items – from £15.15 on June 28, to £16.78 on December 19.
Here’s a breakdown of the collective prices at each supermarket:
What has each supermarket chain said about the prices of these items?
We contacted each supermarket chain for a response to our findings and asked whether prices on household items (such as the ones we tracked) would fall in the coming months. We also asked what initiatives each chain had to help shoppers during the cost of living crisis.
Here are their responses:
In response to our findings, a Morrisons spokesperson told us: “This is an unprecedented period of inflation and we are working hard to keep prices down and competitive for our customers while maintaining high standards and availability in all our stores”
An Asda spokesperson said: “This survey looks at a tiny portion of our overall own-brand product range and does not include our lowest priced own brand options.
“Asda is consistently named the lowest priced supermarket by The Grocer and Which? Magazine’s own price comparisons, and this year we launched our Just Essentials range to further ensure that customers can get the products they need at the lowest prices.”
In terms of other initiatives launched this year to help shoppers, the company introduced the Asda Rewards loyalty app, which the supermarket say has 3 million active users so far, and gave customers the opportunity to get £12 free throughout December that they could spend in stores.
The company added it has also stepped up its support for families and over 60s by running a special £1 meal deal for both groups in its cafes throughout the festive season. The supermarket has already served more than one million ‘Kids eat for £1’ and ‘Winter Warmers over 60s’ meals since June and expects to serve around 70,000 meals per week over the Christmas period.
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “With costs going up, we are working hard to keep prices low. Earlier this year, we announced that we would invest over £500m by March 2023 into lowering prices as part of our plan to put food back at the heart of Sainsbury’s.
“We are now accelerating this value plan, investing a further £50 million to help customers manage the rising cost of living, taking the total investment to £550 million.
“This forms part of our two-year plan to ensure the items people buy most often are on the shelves at the best prices.
“Customers can find low prices on everyday staples in stores and online – from chicken breasts to mincemeat, butter, onions and bananas.
“The bold steps we are taking to focus on value means all our customers will find great deals when they shop with us and do not need to go anywhere else to get the best prices on their weekly shop.”
While Tesco acknowledged the findings, the retailer added they also had other products with cheaper prices, such as bread, chopped tomatoes and mature cheddar cheese.
A Tesco spokesperson said: “With household budgets under increasing pressure we are more committed than ever to helping customers with the price of the weekly shop through Aldi Price Match, Low Everyday Prices and Clubcard Prices.
“This comparison does not include the cheapest options available, including our H.W. Nevills Bread at 39p, our Grower’s Harvest Chopped tomatoes at 32p, and our Creamfields Mature Cheddar (400g) at £2.65.”
An Aldi spokesperson said: “This survey demonstrates that Aldi is the lowest-priced supermarket in Britain, just like consumer champion Which? who have confirmed Aldi as the cheapest supermarket for the past six months.
“With value being the number one consideration for most households, our customers know they will always pay less for their shop at Aldi.”
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