Cost of living: The most popular branded foods that have soared in price over the last two years

Cost of living: The most popular branded foods that have soared in price over the last two years

Some of the UK’s most popular branded foods have soared in price over the last two years – with a range of items now costing double, according to new research.

An investigation by Which? looked at 79 branded items, comparing prices at six major supermarkets (Asda, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Waitrose) over a 30-day period from 21 September to 20 October in both 2020 and 2022.

Aldi and Lidl were not included in the study because they did not have enough comparable items.

The latest on the cost of living

Out of the items on their shopping list, Heinz Tomato Ketchup – the squeezy top down one (460g) – saw the biggest average percentage increase overall, going up by 53% (91p) across the six retailers.

However, in one retailer it had gone up as much as 70%, an increase of £1.06.

The second biggest average percentage increase on the branded products included in Which?’s list was on Dolmio Lasagne Sauce (470g) which went up by 47% or 61p across the six supermarkets in the two years.

In one supermarket, the price increased by as much as 107% – or £1.09.

One of the biggest leaps took place with branded butter. Anchor Spreadable butter tub 500g went up by £1.31 (45%) on average across all six supermarkets over the two-year period.

Meanwhile, Lurpak spreadable slightly salted tub 500g saw an average increase of £1.17 (35%).

The spread hit the headlines earlier this year after it was found a pack costs more than £7 in some supermarkets.

Twinings of London Everyday 100 Tea Bags had the sharpest individual increase in absolute terms at one supermarket – an extra £2.33 (64%) in 2022 compared to the base price in 2020. Across the six retailers the tea bags went up on average 64p (17%).

But branded products are not alone in seeing price rises – the price of low-cost everyday goods increased 17% in the 12 months to September, more than the average rate of food and drink inflation.

The figures, based on web-scraped supermarket data for 30 everyday grocery items, showed the cost of items had already increased 7% in the year up to April.

Over the past year, tea went up by 46%, chips by 39%, bread by 38%, and biscuits by 34%.

Overall, grocery inflation sits at 14%, with households facing a £643 hike in their average annual bill.

Sue Davies, Which? Head of Food Policy, said: “Our research shows the shocking rate of inflation on some of the nation’s favourite branded foods, which is much higher than the national average, and highlights why it is so important for retailers to provide people with a choice of product ranges.

“Supermarkets must ensure budget lines for healthy and affordable essential items are widely available across their stores including smaller convenience stores. Promotions should be targeted at those most in need and people supported so they can easily compare the price of products to get the best value.”

Read more on the cost of living:
Kate Winslet covers £17k energy bills for Scot mum
Coping with childhood cancer in a cost of living crisis
Price of a pint up 9% in a year

It comes as data found last month that millions of households were skipping meals or struggling to put healthy food on the table.

Around 85% of people in the UK are spending less on food shopping as a result of the cost of living squeeze, most commonly by looking out for items on promotion, research by consumer group Which? suggests.

Among the 9% who said they are finding it “very difficult” to get by, half said their household was skipping meals, as did a quarter of those who are finding the current situation quite difficult.

See which prices have gone up or down with Sky’s spending calculator. The latest inflation figures are due to be released tomorrow. which could see a further rise in household favourites.

The 30 branded products with the biggest price rises:

Heinz Tomato Ketchup Sauce – Top Down 460g (53%)

Dolmio Lasagne Sauce 470g (47%)

Heinz Classic Cream Of Chicken Soup 400g (46%)

Dolmio Bolognese Original Pasta Sauce 500g (46%)

Anchor Spreadable Butter Tub 500g (45%)

Heinz Cream Of Tomato Soup 400g (44%)

Colman’s Classic Mint Sauce 165g (44%)

Colman’s Horseradish Sauce 136g (44%)

Batchelors Super Noodles Bbq Beef Flavour 90g (43%)

Hovis Granary Wholemeal 800g (43%)

Sharwoods Butter Chicken Simmer Sauce X 420g (39%)

Cravendale Semi Skimmed Milk 1000ml (38%)

Sharwoods Balti Cooking Sauce 420g (38%)

Sharwoods Korma Sauce 420g (38%)

Lurpak Spreadable Slightly Salted Tub 500g (35%)

Hellmann’s Real Squeezy Mayonnaise 750ml (35%)

Muller Corner Vanilla & Banana Chocolate Balls & Flakes 6x130g 780g (34%)

McCain Home Chips Straight Cut 1000g (34%)

Birds Eye 10 Original Potato Waffles 567g (33%)

Green Giant Salt Free Naturally Sweet Sweetcorn 198g (30%)

Dr. Oetker Ristorante Mozzarella Pizza 335g (30%)

Birds Eye Frozen Garden Peas 375g (28%)

Cathedral City Extra Mature 350g (26%)

Walkers Cheese & Onion Crisps 6X25g 150g (26%)

Pukka Pies All Steak Pie 209g (26%)

Magnum Almond Ice Cream 4 x 100ml 400ml (26%)

Hovis Soft White Thick Bread Loaf 800g (24%)

McVities Biscuits Ginger Nuts 250g (22%)

Hovis Soft White Medium Bread Loaf 800g (22%)

Cif Power And Shine Bathroom Cleaner Spray 700ml (22%)