A fall in fresh food process has pushed annual food inflation down to a three-year low of 1.3% in February, according to the British Retail Consortium Shop Price Inflation report.

The fall in food inflation, from 2.9% in January, was driven by deflation in fresh food, as the price of vegetables and fish fell.

The BRC said it is the first time that any part of the food category had fallen into deflation since the series began in December 2006.

The BRC said competition in the grocery market is keeping prices down, and that much of the depreciation of the pound had already been absorbed into prices.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson said lower food inflation was “great news” for customers. He said: “Previous falls in the value of the pound and large commodity price increases, which were pushing up food prices, have now largely worked through. Barring any lasting shocks, the price of food should continue to be relatively stable for some time.”

Overall, annual shop price inflation fell to 1.7% in February from 2.3% in January. Non-food inflation was unchanged at 1.9%.