Cost of British food basics increases by up to 80% in a year

Cheddar and budget sausages sold by Asda were highest risers, with supermarkets’ prices for oats and skimmed milk also soaring

By Sarah Butler
Apr 18, 2023

The price of staple foods such as cheddar cheese, white bread and pork sausages has soared by up to 80% in some shops over the past year, in further evidence of how inflation is hitting those on the tightest budgets the hardest.

Porridge oats topped the price increase ranking among a basket of British basics measured by the consumer group Which?, with prices up by an average of 35.5% followed by skimmed milk, which was up by 33.6%, and cheddar cheese, which rose by 28.3%.

However, an 180g pack of Dragon cheddar cheese in Asda was priced 80% higher than a year before – putting it top of the study’s inflationary list for individual product lines. The same retailer’s own-label cheddar sticks were up by just under 79%. Asda’s budget Just Essentials pork sausages were up by 73%, a similar increase to Tesco’s Woodside Farms best-value pork sausages.

Sue Davies, the head of food policy at Which?, said: “Our latest supermarket food and drink tracker paints a bleak picture for the millions of households already skipping meals of how inflation is impacting prices on supermarket shelves, with the poorest once again feeling the brunt of the cost of living crisis.

“While the whole food chain affects prices, supermarkets have the power to do more to support people who are struggling, including ensuring everyone has easy access to basic, affordable food ranges at a store near them, particularly in areas where people are most in need.”

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