Fruit and vegetable shortages have helped push UK food inflation levels to a new record during the past month, reaching highs of 15%. As indicated by the British Retail Consortium's (BRC) index, food inflation accelerated strongly in March, up from 14.5% in February. This was the highest monthly rate since the consortium began collecting data in 2005. The largest price increases affected fresh foods, with inflation up 0.7 points to 17%.
However, despite the new record, food prices will 'likely ease in the coming months.' Chief executive of the BRC, Helen Dickinson, said: "Retailers continue to work hard to keep prices, particularly of essentials, as low as possible by expanding value ranges and offering discounts for vulnerable groups. Government must also minimize oncoming regulatory burdens, as these will serve as a drag on investment and will ultimately contribute to higher prices for UK consumers."
It follows the UK's largest retailers imposing national purchasing restrictions on fruit and vegetables earlier this month due to extreme weather hitting harvests.