Top grocery brands fueling ‘greedflation’ – UK watchdog

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According to a recent investigation by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), many major supermarket suppliers have been raising prices by more than their cost, fueling ‘greedflation’.

Greedflation refers to fake price hikes implemented by businesses in order to capitalise on inflation and generate excessive corporate profits.

According to the survey, over the last two years, about three-quarters of branded suppliers in products such as infant formula, baked beans, mayonnaise, and pet food have boosted their unit profitability, contributing to higher food price inflation.

The CMA discovered that growing input costs, particularly for energy and important agricultural inputs like fertiliser, have been a major driver of high inflation in the food and grocery sector.

Food price inflation has put huge strain on household budgets, so it is vital competition issues aren’t adding to the problem,” said Sarah Cardell, the chief executive of the CMA. “While in most cases, the leading brands have raised prices more than their own cost increases, own-label products are generally providing cheaper alternatives,” she noted.

The CMA said that of the ten product categories it examined, it had the biggest concerns over baby milk, the price of which has risen by 25% in the last two years, with two companies accounting for 85% of market share. According to the regulator, families could make significant savings of more than £500 over the first year of a baby’s life through buying cheaper formula options.