Cost of living crisis: Price of pasta, tea and cooking oil soars

The prices of the cheapest vegetable oils and pasta in British supermarkets have soared by nearly two-thirds in the last year, new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests.

The statisticians said the cost of the lowest-priced vegetable oil had spiked 65 per cent and the cheapest pasta was now 60% more expensive than a year ago. The increase comes as inflation is at a 40-year high, with prices up 10.1 per cent in a year.

Food prices drove the latest rise in living costs in September, along with energy bills and transport costs.

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The price of the cheapest tea had risen by 46 per cent, chips were up 39 per cent, bread rose by 38 per cent and biscuits were up 34 per cent according to the ONS data which looked at the cheapest online prices available for a range of everyday grocery items.

Food prices have been a contributing factor to rising inflationFood prices have been a contributing factor to rising inflation
Food prices have been a contributing factor to rising inflation

Orange juice (-9 per cent), minced beef (-7 per cent), sugar (-0.3 per cent) and rice (-0.2 per cent) were the only staple items to see their prices fall, over the 12 months to September 2022.

The ONS also published new analysis which showed that around 7 in 10 people with prepayment meters found it difficult to afford their energy bills at the beginning of October as the new price cap was introduced.

National Statistician Sir Ian Diamond said: “While the recent spike in inflation began with energy prices, today’s fresh insights using a new innovative data source show they are now filtering through to other important items, with the cheapest price of some staple food items rising by around two thirds in the last year.

“Figures from our near real time survey of people show that while rises in food and energy costs are affecting many people across the country, those who are disabled, from certain ethnic minority backgrounds and renters are among those struggling the most.

“With rises in the cost of living at the forefront of many people’s minds, our new, almost real time, data showing just how prices are changing and shining a light on how different groups are affected have never been more important.”