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Inflation is making the English breakfast even more indulgent

Spiking fuel and energy prices, coupled with double-digit inflation rates are taking a toll on UK household spending

As an increasing number of people skip breakfasts, food stress grips the United Kingdom (Photo by Jonathan Farber, Unsplash)

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Preparing English breakfasts is around 18% more expensive than a year ago, in yet another indicator of how the cost-of-living crisis is squeezing UK household budgets.

Buying fry-up supplies – toast, butter, eggs, sausages and bacon, together with coffee and tea -- will set back consumers by an average of £19.1 ($22.96), almost £3 more than in the comparable period last year. That’s according to retail research firm Assosia, which crunched price data across grocers Tesco Plc, J Sainsbury Plc, Asda and Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc in July. 

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Increases in the cost of breakfast supplies are outpacing the overall UK inflation rate, which has hit a four-decade high as households struggle with spiking energy and fuel bills. 

The big four British supermarkets have all lost some market share this year as shoppers turn to cheaper rivals such as German discounters Aldi and Lidl.

“This brings into focus something everyone can relate to,” said Richard Lim, chief executive officer of Retail Economics. “Prices are rising across the board and the reality is that there is more inflation in the pipeline for sure.”

Although inflation is widespread, Britons have been hit especially hard. In France, prices of coffee, croissants and other breakfast supplies are mostly rising at single-digit percentages, according to Eurostat data.

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Buying grocers’ own-brand products rather than well-known labels can help cut the English breakfast grocery bill by about £7.64, according to Assosia. Still, prices for the cheaper product ranges soared at a similar pace as branded ones.

Beyond trading down to private labels, the choices get tougher. 

“An increasing number of people say they’re skipping meals,” said James Walton, chief economist at the Institute of Grocery Distribution. “That is a clear sign of food stress.”


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