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22nd Mar 2023

Brits going ‘back to the Good Life’ as food inflation soars

Jack Peat

Food and non-alcoholic drinks prices rose by 18 per cent year-on-year last month

Food and non-alcoholic drink prices rose to their highest rate in over 45 years last month as high energy costs and bad weather led to shortages and rationing.

Consumer Prices Index (CPI) figures, out today, show inflation rose unexpectedly to 10.4 per cent in February from 10.1 per cent in January.

The ONS said price inflation of food, including non-alcoholic drinks, raced higher to 18.3 per cent from 16.8 per cent.

Shortages of vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers in recent weeks were largely behind the rocketing food inflation.

Commenting on the figures, ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner said: “Inflation ticked up in February mainly driven by rising alcohol prices in pubs and restaurants following discounting in January.

“Food and non-alcoholic drink prices rose to their highest rate in over 45 years with particular increases for some salad and vegetable items as high energy costs and bad weather across parts of Europe led to shortages and rationing.

“These were partially offset by falls in the cost of motor fuel, where the annual inflation rate has eased for seven consecutive months.”

With empty supermarket shelves and the cost of produce on the rise, researchers have found that as many as 29 percent of Britons now have their own fruit and vegetable patch.

A further 35 percent insist they plan to grow their own fruit and veg at some point soon, while one in ten (5 percent) plan to have keep chickens, in a bid to become more self sufficient.

The nationwide survey by Miracle-Gro, found strawberries and tomatoes (21 percent) are the most popular foods grown at home, followed by potatoes (18 percent) and lettuce (16 percent).

There is also space in our gardens for herbs, with Rosemary (19 percent), Thyme (17 percent) and Parsley (16 percent) all common place.

This new era of home-made, “good life” style of living also takes in drink and so seven percent of us even brew our own beer.

Jayne Horswill, spokesperson for Miracle-Gro, which commissioned the study to launch their spring campaign to get Britain growing, said: “Growing your own food is an easy, cost-effective move which will not only save you a few pennies but also bring you joy when watching them grow – and eating them! Our mission is to get more people to grow and spend time outdoors – because it’s not only good for your mental health but also super easy to do, contrary to what people think.

“All you need is the right tools, an idea of what you want to grow and the correct guidance on how to grow – all of which we’re here to help with.”

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