Food inflation starting to fall, says Sainsbury’s as sales rise

Food inflation is starting to fall, according to the boss of Sainsbury’s, who said shoppers were putting more items in their baskets as it began to cut prices on some basics.

Simon Roberts, the chief executive, said the supermarket was “putting all our energy and focus into battling inflation” as household budgets were “under more pressure than ever”.

The UK’s second largest supermarket chain, which also owns Argos, reported that like-for-like sales – those in stores open for more than a year – excluding fuel rose by a better than expected 9.8% in the 16 weeks to 24 June, partly thanks to an increase in the number of items sold, reversing a trend of shoppers cutting back.

Grocery sales jumped 11% while general merchandise such as household goods grew by 4%, including a 5.1% rise at Argos, helped by the warmer weather towards the end of the period and the string of bank holidays. Clothing sales fell 3.7%, held back by the cool start to the spring.

Sainsbury’s said it had put more than £60m into cutting back the prices of basics including bread, milk, pasta, chicken and toilet roll since March in a market where prices continued to rise.

Supermarkets have come under public pressure to do more to alleviate the cost of living crisis amid accusations of “greedflation” – using high inflation as an excuse to raise prices further.

The competition watchdog is investigating whether supermarkets are keeping prices higher than they need to be, with a separate probe into fuel reporting this week that supermarkets had increased profit margins during the pandemic.

While the cost of some basics has started to fall, prices overall continue to rise and are expected to do so until the end of the year as the cost of energy and labour remains high while importing goods from Europe has become more complex.

skip past newsletter promotion

Roberts said: “Food inflation is starting to fall and we are fully committed to passing on savings to our customers.”


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.