As the cost of living crisis continues to bite, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is launching a study to track food and drink price rises.

On Monday, May 30, the ONS will publish a highly experimental analysis of grocery item prices, investigating whether the cost of budget food and drink items have increased at a faster rate than those for other food options.

This issue was brought to national attention earlier this year by food writer and poverty campaigner Jack Monroe, who highlighted in a viral Twitter thread how budget staple foods - such as the cheapest supermarket packs of rice and pasta - had more than doubled in price since last year.



Tory MP Lee Anderson, meanwhile, sparked controversy earlier this month when he claimed that those struggling to feed themselves and their families "cannot cook properly" and "cannot budget", claiming that nutritious meals could be cooked for "30p a day".

The ONS analysis on food costs will be produced using in-house, web-scraped data collected by the ONS since the start of 2021.

READ MORE: 'The cost of living crisis is a political choice that the UK Government has made'

It will cover a sample of 30 everyday grocery items commonly bought by households, and will aim to show how the price of each item has changed over the last year - taking into account both the cost of substituting one item for another, and how food prices generally have changed.

The full list of items to be analysed during the study is as follows:

  • Apples
  • Baked beans
  • Bananas
  • Biscuits
  • Bread
  • Breakfast cereal
  • Cheese
  • Chicken
  • Crisps
  • Fish fingers
  • Frozen chips
  • Frozen mixed vegetables
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit squash
  • Granulated sugar
  • Ham
  • Instant coffee
  • Milk
  • Minced Beef
  • Onions
  • Pasta
  • Pizza
  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Sausages
  • Tea
  • Tomato ketchup
  • Tomatoes
  • Vegetable oil
  • Yoghurt

Additional reporting: Rebecca Wilks


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