Data: Grocery sales fall for first time since pandemic began as food inflation surges

Coronavirus supermarket shopper

Take-home grocery sales went into reverse in April for the first time since the pandemic began, as rampant food inflation hit its highest level since 2011.

For the 12 weeks to April 17, supermarket sales fell 5.9% year on year and 0.6% on a two-year basis, as the period now includes the first lockdown when only essential stores were allowed to open. 

Like-for-like grocery inflation for the period also grew, hitting 5.9% in April – its highest level since December 2011, according to the latest Kantar grocery market share data. 

Kantar head of retail and consumer insight Fraser McKevitt said: “The average household will now be exposed to a potential price increase of £271 per year. A lot of this is going on non-discretionary, everyday essentials, which will prove difficult to cut back on as budgets are squeezed. We’re seeing a clear flight to value as shoppers watch their pennies.”

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