Ireland’s inflation rates hit a record high in September with grocery prices up 12.4%, figures show.

As food prices continue to rise, 32% of shoppers in Ireland say they are ‘struggling’ to make ends meet, up from 23% in March of this year, Kantar reported.

Take-home grocery sales were up by 3.6% in the 12 weeks to 3 October 2022. Staples including butter, milk and bread were 28% higher than this time last year and average pack price increased by 8.6%.

There has also been a continued move to private-label products, with sales up 7.2% in the 12-week period and shoppers spending an additional EUR88.3m (US$86.7m) year-on-year. Value own-label ranges saw the strongest growth, up 23.5% with shoppers spending an additional EUR11.3m.

Emer Healy, senior retail analyst at Kantar, said: “The average annual grocery bill will go from EUR6,999 to EUR7,867 if consumers don’t make any changes to what they buy and how they shop to cut costs. This means the average annual shop is set to rise by EUR868 a year. At a basket level, that’s an extra EUR3.36 per trip.”

Sales of small luxuries have remained strong however as chocolate biscuit bar sales were up 10.9%, crisps up 6.5% and branded soft drinks jumped 5.4%. With Hallowe’en a month away, sales of pumpkins soared 24% year-on-year and spending on sugar confectionary was up by EUR1.3m.

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The upward pressure on prices in Ireland comes as Germany recorded an 18.7% hike in food prices in September, with overall inflation up by 10%. Consumers faced the sharpest rises in edible fats and oils, which were up by 49%. Dairy products and eggs increased by 29.1%, meat and meat products 19.5% and bread and cereals 18.5%. In the UK, grocery price inflation hit 13.9% in the 12 weeks to 2 October, Kantar said last week.

All of Ireland’s major grocery retailers saw single-digit year-on-year growth. Irish grocery retailer Dunnes led the market with a 22.7% share, and growth of 8.2% year on year.

Tesco holds 21.8% of the market with growth of 5.2% year-on-year; SuperValu holds 21.2% of the market and Lidl holds 13.1% share. In fifth place, Aldi holds a 12.7% share of the market and reported a 2.4% growth.

Canadian retail giant Loblaw yesterday announced it was freezing all prices on its private-label No Name brand in a bid to soften the blow of food inflation. More than 1,500 own-label products will be frozen until the end of January.