Grocery bills to rise by €768 a year as cost of essentials climb sharply

Consumers face a further increase to bills at the supermarket checkout as grocery price inflation hit 11pc.

his marks a further increase from the previous 14-year high reported in August when grocery price inflation reached 9.5pc

According to the latest figures from research group Kantar, take home grocery sales in Ireland rose 1.8pc in the 12 weeks to September 4.

However, this growth was largely attributed to a 7.8pc increase in average prices on the shelves.

“Grocery price inflation is at its highest level since Kantar began tracking grocery price inflation in May 2008,” Kantar senior analyst Emer Healy said.

“The average annual grocery bill could go from €6,985 to €7,753 – that’s an additional €768 a year that Irish consumers will have to spend if they do not make any changes to what they currently buy or where they shop.”

The price of essentials recorded the steepest increases in the four weeks to September 4 as families prepared for the return to school. The cost of bread rose by a fifth, with milk increasing by 26pc.

Yoghurt prices were also up 17pc, while the cost of ham also rose by 12pc.

According to Kantar, a basket of supermarket staples is now €2 more expensive than it was at the beginning of August.

In response to the rising costs, consumers are hunting for bargains in store. Own-brand products are continuing their upward trajectory, with sales rising a further 5.8pc in the past 12 weeks.

This represents an additional €72m spend on supermarket own-brand labels year-on-year.

Kantar also pointed to the demand for the cheapest own-brand products which are typically the supermarket’s value ranges.

These product lines recorded strong growth, with sales up 21.4pc compared to the same period last year.

More consumers are also switching to a virtual weekly shop in a move to stick to a shopping list and reduce fuel costs.

More than one-in-ten Irish people now opt to shop online for groceries.

Dunnes returned to the top spot in the Irish grocery market, with a 22.3pc market share. Its own-label also performed strongly in the period, with sales up 13pc year-on-year.

Tesco followed with a 21.9pc market share, with SuperValu rounding out the top three, with a market share of 21.4pc.

Discount grocers Lidl and Aldi now hold market shares of 13.2pc and 12.7pc respectively.

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