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CONSUMERS have seen the price of hundreds of popular grocery items rise by more than a fifth over the last two years, a Which? study has found.
The watchdog also found the rise coincided with a drop in supermarket discounts and budget ranges as the cost-of-living crisis bites.
Items included Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes, which increased by 21.4 per cent at Tesco.
Asda’s 250g own label closed cup mushrooms are up 21.4 per cent, and Cathedral City extra mature cheddar rose by 21.1 per cent at Ocado.
Across 20 categories of groceries, fizzy drinks saw the biggest average price rise at 5.9 per cent, followed by butters and spreads (4.9 per cent), energy drinks (4.8 per cent) and milk (4.6 per cent).
The number of promotions fell across every one of the 20 categories the watchdog studied, including the number of discounts on bottled water down 14.7 per cent and on vegetables, down 11 per cent.
Examples of shrinkflation — reducing the size of a product while maintaining the original price — included Nescafe azera americano decaffeinated instant coffee shrinking from 100g to 90g and Walkers classic variety crisps dropping from 24 bags in a multipack to 22 bags.
Which? head of food policy and consumer rights Sue Davies said: “Our research reveals that eye-watering price rises are being exacerbated by practices like shrinkflation and limited availability of all-important budget ranges – and these factors are combining to put huge pressure on household shopping budgets.
“During an unrelenting cost-of-living crisis, consumers should be able to easily choose the best value product for them without worrying about shrinkflation or whether their local store stocks budget ranges.”
Tesco said that it is “committed to providing great value for our customers” including price matching about 650 basics to Aldi prices.
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