Food prices at two of Australia’s major supermarkets have jumped by 8.2 per cent in three months, new research from investment bank UBS has found.
Food inflation spiked 8.3 per cent at Woolworths and 8 per cent at Coles for the July-to-September quarter.
The cost of fresh food jumped 9 per cent on average, while the cost of packaged or dry groceries rose 7.7 per cent.
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“Food inflation is expected to reach 8.7 per cent over the next 12 months,” UBS analyst Shaun Cousins told The Australian.
“Generally, this is as high as I have seen, certainly in the last decade. This is the highest rate of inflation that Australian consumers would have seen for many years.”
For the previous quarter, food inflation hit 5.6 per cent for Woolworths and 5.5 for Coles.
According to Canstar Blue’s latest survey, Aussies spend $152 per week on groceries on average.
That means customers are now spending around $12.50 extra per week on groceries. Or about $650 more a year.
The findings came from around 60,000 weekly prices across Woolworths and Coles, as well as promotional activities.
UBS said costs would have been higher if it wasn’t for supermarket discounts and promotions.
Coles recently dropped and locked the prices of 150 products, including popular brands like Steggles, Kleenex, Golden Circle and Kellogg’s, until the end of January 2023.
In August, Coles locked the prices of more than 1,000 grocery staples until January 31, 2023, while Woolworths dropped the prices on more than 400 spring staples until November 29, 2022.
Aussies struggling to eat
The rising cost of living means many Aussies are struggling to access food.
Foodbank’s Hunger Report found that more than half a million Aussie households were struggling to put food on the table and, worryingly, those with children were hit hardest.
More than 2 million Australian households had experienced severe food insecurity in the past 12 months, the survey of more than 4,000 Australians found.
That meant they had run out of food due to limited finances, sometimes skipping meals or going whole days without eating.