WITH food inflation dropping to a new low, retail egg prices have remained broadly in step, while average poultry prices have slowed even more and are barely rising at all.

According to the latest bulletin from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the annual inflation rate for food fell to its lowest level since November 2021 in March. 

See also: Latest benchmark report reveals trends in poultry welfare

Food prices as a whole were just 4% higher in March than in the same month a year ago, although this was still one percentage point greater than the overall CPI (Consumer Price Index) for all items, which fell to 3.2% year-on-year.

Retail egg prices were in between and showed a 3.7% rise in March compared with a year earlier. 

This marked an uptick compared with February, when egg prices were up by just 3.1%.

Poultrymeat

Meanwhile, average poultrymeat prices are now at much the same level as a year ago, showing a marginal increase of 0.1% over March 2023.

By comparison, meat prices in general were 3% higher, with beef up 3%, lamb up 4.2%, and pork and bacon up by around 5.5%. 

However, most retail meat prices fell in absolute terms during the period from February to March this year. 

Poultry and pork prices were down 0.5% during the month, while beef fell 0.6%. Lamb prices were steady.

Grocery price inflation

More recent figures on the grocery market from Kantar show that the trend is continuing. Grocery price inflation was 3.2% over the four weeks to 14 April, marking the fourteenth monthly drop in a row, it says.

This has been aided by a significant increase in promotional spending, claims Kantar. 

It estimates that items bought on offer comprised 29.3% of supermarket sales, the highest level outside of Christmas since June 2021.

“We’ve been monitoring steady annual growth in promotions over the past 11 months as retailers respond to consumers’ desire for value.  

Deals helped shoppers save a massive £1.3 billion in the latest four weeks, almost £46 per household.  

“This emphasis on offers, coupled with falling prices in some categories, has helped to bring the rate of grocery inflation down for shoppers at the till,” said Fraser McKevitt of the Worldpanel division.