HARD-UP Britons are switching to inexpensive microwave meals and making simple dinners with fewer ingredients.
Grocery inflation fell to 16.5%, the lowest since the start of the year but still one of the highest in 15 years.
It hit a high of 17.2% in May but analysts at KANTAR said nearly 70% of households were still “extremely” or “very” worried.
Households are spending £833 more than last year. And economists warn prices will stay higher for longer.
Amid intense scrutiny around accusations of “greedy inflation,” supermarkets have begun offering wholesale discounts on dairy products, vegetable oils and breads.
However, these are also commodities that have skyrocketed around 40% in the past year due to soaring labor and energy costs.
Prices for eggs, cooking sauces and frozen potato products, such as chips and potato waffles, have all increased in the past 12 weeks, Kantar said.
Many shoppers are managing their budgets by turning to cheaper alternatives.
Sales of the supermarket’s popular food lines increased 41% from a year ago.
Sainsbury’s recently rebranded line is Stamford Street and ASDA’s Just Essentials line is growing in popularity.
More shoppers are also visiting Aldi and Lidl discount stores than ever before with their sales up by almost a quarter.
Together they control nearly 18 per cent of the UK food market.
Warmer weather means ice cream sales have increased by a quarter — but, Kanta says, shoppers are paying an average of 20% more than they did a year ago.
And fresh sausages are 16% more expensive while burgers are 13% more expensive, hitting the cost of summer barbecues.
Supermarkets used to sell products for the eye-catching “pound” price but inflation has meant that £1 promotions have nearly halved, with many items now selling for more than £1.25.
ASH’s £22m BIT BIT
MIKE Ashley added a £22 million stake in Boohoo to its recent acquisition.
The billionaire’s Frasers Group has bought a 5% stake in the online fashion company, which has Kourtney Kardashian among its ambassadors.
It comes after the group bought a 9% stake in Currys and a 19% stake in Ao World.
EX-TESCO’s JIBE ‘LAME’
BARONESS Helena Morrissey has branded former Tesco president John Allan’s claims that men are now wary of working around women as “a bit rich and a bit lame”.
Mr Allan has lost his role and similar position at Barratt Developments after being accused of making inappropriate comments and touching, which he strongly denies.
He told Sky News on Sunday: “A lot of men tell me they’re increasingly nervous when it comes to working with women, guiding women.”
“What quite a few people are telling me and telling others I know, is that they’re going to be very cautious going forward about how they interact with women in the business world.”
But Baron Morrissey disagreed and called his comments “regressive”.
The former boss of Newton Investment Management and a director of several companies in the City, said: “I think it’s a bit rich and a bit lame.
“It puts the responsibility back on women, half of the workforce. It’s unfortunate and unfair.”
She added: “Good men don’t need to worry, but if a man is not good and is worried about being found out, then I think that’s a good outcome.”
“Wisdom is all it takes, think about how you choose to interact in an informal gathering.”
Mr Allan was chairman of the CBI from 2018 to 2020, the lobbying group is still struggling to mend ties with the government following a sex scandal.
Dealer CAR Lookers has accepted a £465 million buyout bid by Canadian company Alpha Auto.
Lookers have previously been the target of rival Pendragon amid a wave of consolidation in the sector.
Three years ago, Lookers was hit by an accounting fraud, then hit by pandemic lockdowns.
But sales and profits have recovered thanks to soaring car prices, largely due to a shortage of auto parts.
COMPANIES IN SALARY RAP
Wh Smith, Marks & Spencer, Lloydspharmacy and Argos are among 200 companies named and shamed for not paying minimum wages to 63,000 workers.
The Department for Business and Commerce said an investigation by HMRC between 2017 and 2019 found staff had missed out on £5million in wages.
Big companies blame it on “unintentional technical problems” that they fix as soon as they become aware.
FCA CUT ODEY
CRISPIN ODEY, the hedge fund magnate, has lost his status as a “proper and proper” individual, according to the financial regulator’s register.
Mr Odey was expelled from his foundation following allegations of sexual harassment and assault by 14 women.
He is no longer FCA certified for financial transactions.
The FCA has restricted the fund’s ability to sell assets.