The Breakfast Index shows fry-up costs 20% more than last year

A FULL-ENGLISH fry-up is now 20% more expensive than a year ago in a stark example of how rampant food price inflation is chipping away at household budgets. 

Just a day after Britain’s inflation level hit double digits once more, the latest Bloomberg Breakfast Index shows how every ingredient is now much more costly than a year ago. 

Coffee, which experienced the biggest uplift in prices in September, is about 22% dearer than the same time last year. All the ingredients that make up a full English, except mushrooms, have similarly experienced double-digit price inflation over the past year. And even then, mushrooms are still up 5%. 

Crunching data from the Office for National Statistics, the index tracks the prices of some of the key ingredients in an English breakfast — sausages, bacon, eggs, bread, butter, tomatoes, mushrooms, milk, tea and coffee. It gives a taste of the real-world impact of inflation on consumers with food prices driving the latest leap in everyday costs.

“Food inflation is pushing hard on consumers and businesses alike,” said James Brown, UK managing partner at consulting firm Simon-Kucher & Partners in London. “We’ve yet to see all businesses pass on the rising costs, so further price increases as we enter the Christmas shopping season are inevitable.” 

The total cost to make an English breakfast has risen to £32.95 (RM176.28), the index shows. Milk has leaped 44% from a year ago, while butter has increased 27%, and eggs have gained 23%. 

Soaring food prices have driven UK inflation back into double digits, with a 10.1% increase in September matching a 40-year high reached in July and exceeding economists’ expectations. Policymakers are under increasing pressure to lift the key rate next month to tackle the problem. 

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt set out measures earlier in the week that remove £32 billion of giveaways previously promised by Prime Minister Liz Truss. Support for energy bills will be curtailed from April, bringing fresh difficulties for households and businesses that are already up against rising prices. 

Shoppers are already buying supermarkets’ own-label goods which are cheaper than big brands and visiting rival discounters to save money. There are also signs they’re starting to buy more frozen foods and canned goods which can be less expensive and last longer. — Bloomberg 

  • This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition


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