Some of the nation’s most popular branded foods have soared in the last two years with the worst examples doubling in price, according to new Which? research which looks at how much supermarket prices have shot up.
In a new investigation, the consumer champion found popular branded products such as Heinz Ketchup, Dolmio sauce and Anchor butter have soared in the last two years – with some price hikes over 100 per cent.
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.
Out of the items on Which?’s shopping list, Heinz Tomato Ketchup – top down (460g) saw the biggest average percentage increase overall, going up by 53 per cent or 91p across the six retailers – although this was as much as 70 per cent or an increase of £1.06 in one particular supermarket over the two-year period.
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 per cent or 61p across the six supermarkets in the two years. However the price increased by as much as 107 per cent or £1.09 in one supermarket.
Heinz Classic Cream Of Chicken Soup 400g also went up an average of 46 per cent or 44p across the board from around £1 to almost £1.50.
Even foods such as student staple, Batchelors Super Noodles Bbq Beef Flavour (90g) went up an average of 43 per cent across the six supermarkets, according to Which?’s analysis, from an average 59p to 82p.
Prices also increased on basics such as Hovis Granary Wholemeal 800g, increasing by an average of 43 per cent or 58p across the six supermarkets, from £1.39 to £1.97 on average.
One of the biggest leaps in terms of pounds and pence was on 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 price of 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 teabags went up on average 64p (17%).
Which?’s findings show that despite overall inflation being at almost 15 per cent since this time last year, some of Britain’s favourite branded foods may have risen much more sharply and prices on specific products across the supermarkets can differ significantly.
While shoppers could save money by shopping around or avoiding branded goods, people could be paying over the odds if they live in areas not well served by a choice of larger supermarkets or retailers that do not stock cheaper own-brand and budget ranges.
Which? believes supermarkets need to do more to support all consumers through the crisis by making sure food prices are easy to understand to make budgeting much simpler, making sure budget lines are available throughout stores and online, and providing targeted promotions to support people in the areas that are struggling the most.
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.”
Notes to editors:
Which? cost of living campaign
Millions of families are skipping meals to survive the cost of living crisis. With the price of essential products soaring, supermarkets have a crucial role to play to help us all.
As part of Which?’s AFFORDABLE FOOD FOR ALL campaign, Which? is calling on supermarkets to commit to clear pricing, better access to budget ranges that enable healthy choices and more offers for those who need them most.
Find out more about our research and read the full Affordable Food For All policy report.
Our petition can be found here: https://campaigns.which.co.uk/affordable-food/
- Which? conducted an analysis on 79 branded products including big names such as Dolmio and Lurpak, available across Asda, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose (Sept 21 to Oct 20 in both 2020 and 2022). The products from Which?’s regular analysis of food prices were chosen as they could be matched between both time periods.
- Aldi and Lidl were not included in the study as they did not have enough comparable items.
- All the data includes discounts but not multi buys or loyalty offers
- *15% inflation refers to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel which reported earlier this month that grocery prices were 14.7% higher than a year ago in October.
30 BRANDED PRODUCTS WITH THE BIGGEST PRICE HIKES
|Parent Product Name||Average price rise in percentages|
|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%|
|Hellmanns 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%|
Previous Which? Research
Which? is the UK’s consumer champion, here to make life simpler, fairer and safer for everyone. Our research gets to the heart of consumer issues, our advice is impartial, and our rigorous product tests lead to expert recommendations. We’re the independent consumer voice that influences politicians and lawmakers, investigates, holds businesses to account and makes change happen. As an organisation we’re not for profit and all for making consumers more powerful.
The information in this press release is for editorial use by journalists and media outlets only. Any business seeking to reproduce information in this release should contact the Which? Endorsement Scheme team at firstname.lastname@example.org.