Southend Blogger Jack Monroe writes here about increases in the price of basic foods:
As someone who buys pretty much the same items every week, spending around a tenner a time, I know the prices of the Sainsburys Basics range by heart. Bread is 50p a loaf, whether white or wholemeal. Chopped tomatoes are 33p for a cardboard carton. Kidney beans are 18p for a tin. Apples are 82p. Sainsburys Basics strawberry jam was, the last time I checked, 29p a jar. Not today. Today it was 35p a jar. People will be rolling their eyes now, that I’m quibbling over 6p, but it’s not the only 6p hike in the Basics range…
… Again, I can almost hear the tuts. “Oh, it’s only 6p, what’s she going on about?”
What she’s going on about, is the price of food. Strawberry jam is 120% of the price of strawberry jam two weeks ago. If in some horrible world, the inflation of the price of food carries on at that rate, it will be 42p in a fortnight, and over £40 a jar by the end of the year. Of course that won’t happen, but it’s a demonstrative figure as to how effective that ‘small’ 6p hike could be.
Having worked for one of the ‘big four’ supermarkets myself, I know how they work. Essential items like bread and milk are at the periphery of the store, and down the middle is what ASDA used to call ‘action alley’, where promotions are piled high and sold cheap. Tins of Christmas chocolates 3 for £10. Crates of beer 2 for £20. Never anything nutritious, or necessary, but marked down and boldly signposted ….