Cheesed off: Shoppers hit by massive 40% increase in dairy food prices

Food prices: Variety of cheeses on display in cheese room of farm shop, Suffolk, England, UK. (Photo by: Geography Photos/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Food prices: Cheddar and other hard cheeses saw an average increase of over 40% in price. Photo: Getty

Some grocery items have jumped in price by over 40% in the past year, with cheese and olive oil leading the surge in food prices.

Cheddar and other hard cheeses saw an average increase of over 40% in the 12 months in March 2023, according to a new tool launched by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Hard cheese such as emmental and gruyere has seen the largest rise with an annual inflation rate of 44%, increasing from £6.92 to £9.98 the year to March 2023.

The prices of eggs and milk rose at annual rates of 32% and 39% respectively, more than three times the headline inflation rate of 10.1%.

A dozen eggs increased by over 77p across the same period, with the average price for a dozen eggs being £3.19 in March 2023.

Oil and fats have also surged in price, partly due to the Ukraine war. “All items in oils and fats have seen an increase in price but olive oil has increased the most, increasing by nearly 50% in the 12 months to March 2023,” the ONS said.

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The price of staples such as a tin of baked beans increased 39% while pasta jumped 24%.

The price of takeaway burgers and fish and chips rose by nearly 20% over the same period.

A roast dinner for four people, including a whole chicken (1.5kg), white potatoes (1kg), carrots (1 kg), broccoli (350g) and butter (100g) now costs £8.68 on average, up £1.68 in a year – with broccoli recording the biggest rise at 34%.

The figures are from the ONS’ new Shopping Prices Comparison Tool, that allows anyone to track inflation in more detail.

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The Tool shows how the average prices of over 450 individual goods and services in the basket used to measure inflation have changed over the last year.

It covers food and drink, clothing and footwear, food and drink establishments, health, household items, recreation and culture, services and transport.

There were 60 grocery items featured in the tool that saw prices rise by 20% or more in a year and five items that rose by at least 40%. Overall, 95% of the items included in the tool have seen their price increase in the past year to March 2023.

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