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Prices of food and non-alcoholic drinks continue to rise at record rates
The prices of food and non-alcoholic drinks rose at the second highest rate in 45 years in the year to April 2023.
The annual inflation rate for food and non-alcoholic drinks fell to 19.1% in the year to April 2023, compared with 19.2% in March 2023.
Indicative modelled estimates suggest it is the second highest seen for over 45 years, when the rate in August 1977 was estimated to be 21.9%.
The fall in the annual rate was driven by falls in bread and cereals; fish; milk, cheese and eggs; and sugar, jam and honey.
You can explore how the prices of 450 items in the inflation basket – including the cost of food and eating out - have increased over the past year with our shopping prices comparison tool.
Prices for alcoholic beverages and tobacco rose by 9.1% in the year to April 2023, up from 5.3% in March.
The main reason for this increase was prices for tobacco rising by 11.0% in the year to April 2023, up from 4.7% on the year to March 2023. The rise was driven by the rise in tobacco duty which hadn’t increased since October 2021.
Some shoppers are taking actions to reduce their outgoings, with around 4 in 10 adults (44%) saying that they are spending less on food shopping and essentials.
Meanwhile, half (50%) of adults said they were buying less when shopping for food. That is according to our latest Public opinions and social trends bulletin for May 17 to 29, 2023.
With around two thirds (67%) of adults in Great Britain reporting that their cost of living has increased in the past month, more than 9 in 10 of them (97%) of those have experienced an increase in the price of food shopping.
In February 2023, 5% of people said they had run out of food and been unable to afford more in the past two weeks, according to new analysis of our winter pressures survey.
This comprised 3% who also reported this when asked previously in November 2022 to January 2023, and 2% who had not reported this previously but did in the latest period.
Persistently running out of food (reporting experiencing it in both survey periods) appeared more common for people in certain groups, including among:
those experiencing moderate to severe depressive symptoms (13%)
those not in work, not seeking work and not retired (10%)
those living in the most deprived areas of England (8%)
disabled people (6%)
You can explore how food insecurity has affected different groups over winter in the full analytical article: tracking the impact of winter pressures in Great Britain.
How this affects you
We also regularly publish a newsletter with updates on the rising cost of living. To subscribe, visit our sign-up page and click "Cost of living newsletter" under our Subscription topics.
Read our summary of our current and future analytical work related to the cost of living.
The government is offering help for households. See what cost of living support you could be eligible for.