Food prices dropped in September for the first time in over two years, according to recent data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

The BRC said that fierce competition between retailers, has helped ease cost pressures and brought year-on-year food inflation down to single digits.

Customers who bought dairy, margarine, fish and vegetables, all typically own-brand lines, would have found lower prices compared to August.

Households would have benefited from price cuts for school uniform and other back-to-school essentials.

  • Shop Price annual inflation decelerated further to 6.2% in September, down from 6.9% in August. This is below the 3-month average rate of 6.8%. Shop price growth is at its lowest since September 2022.
  • Non-Food inflation eased to 4.4% in September, down from 4.7% in August. This is below the 3-month average rate of 4.6%. Inflation is its lowest since December 2022.
  • Food inflation decelerated to 9.9% in September, down from 11.5% in August. This is below the 3-month average rate of 11.4% and is the fifth consecutive deceleration in the food category. Inflation is its lowest since August 2022.
  • Fresh Food inflation slowed further in September, to 9.6%, down from 11.6% in August. This is below the 3-month average rate of 11.5% and inflation in this category remains elevated. Inflation is its lowest since July 2022.
  • Ambient Food inflation decelerated to 10.4% in September, down from 11.3% in August. This is below the 3-month average rate of 11.2% and is the lowest since November 2022.

Helen Dickinson OBE chief executive of the British Retail Consortium said: “We expect Shop Price Inflation to continue to fall over the rest of the year, however there are still many risks to this trend – high interest rates, climbing oil prices, global shortages of sugar, as well as the supply chain disruption from the war in Ukraine. Retailers will continue to do all they can to support their customers and bring prices down, especially as households face being squeezed by higher energy and mortgage bills.”

Mike Watkins head of retailer and business insight at NielsenIQ said: “With further price cuts by supermarkets in recent weeks, food inflation continues to slow which is good news. However there continues to be pressure on budgets with over half of households still feeling that they are significantly impacted by the continued increases in cost of living. (NIQ Mid-Year Consumer Outlook). So, it will be important for retail sales to keep momentum which means we can expect more price cuts and increased promotional activity across all retail channels.”

A recenty study commisioned by Spar found that kitchen cupboard essentials have evolved since the 1980s and what shoppers are currently buying.