Food prices fell for the second month in a row as promotional levels within the grocery sector soar.

Food prices in May were on average 0.4 per cent lower than in April, according to Verdict Consulting.

Since March 2009, food prices have dropped by about 1.5 per cent.

Prices are still ahead of last year, however. Verdict said that the average family is paying some 7.6 per cent more for groceries than last year.

Verdict consulting director Neil Saunders said: “We believe that food prices will continue to fall, but they are coming down very slowly – so slowly in fact that some families might not really notice much of a difference each month.”

15 per cent of all food products were on promotion in May compared with 12 per cent in May last year. Most promotions are multi-buy deals rather than direct price cuts, meaning customers make more savings.