THE price of cheddar cheese has risen by 49% in one year, according to a new tool launched to help consumers keep track of inflationary price rises.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) tool, launched on Wednesday, shows the differences in prices for everyday items between now and one year ago.

The online tool allows people to build personalised shopping baskets of products and track how much the average cost of items they buy have increased over the past year.

It shows that the price of whole milk has risen by 38%, eggs by 32%, olive oil by 49%, and butter by 30%.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

The tool also tracks price rises in categories such as clothing, transport, and health.

It comes one day after it was recorded that food prices soared by 15.7% in April, the highest on record, according to the latest BRC-NielsenIQ shop price index.

Fresh food prices increased by a record 17.8% year-on-year for the month, while the price of ambient products, such as tinned goods and other store-cupboard items, increased 12.9%.

The ONS said its new tool will allow people to select from more than 450 items, ranging from cheddar cheese to MOTs, to track how inflation has hit their own pockets.

The data, which uses the CPIH (Consumer Prices Index including Housing) measure of inflation, highlights stark jumps in the cost of groceries and eating out.

Over the year, 60 grocery products used in the tool saw prices jump by 20% or more, including five items that rose by 40% or more.

Around 95% of the items used in the tool have seen their price increase in the year to March 2023.

The ONS said that milk, cheese and eggs recorded some of the highest annual inflation rates in groceries throughout the last year.

Across fast food and takeaways, fish and chips saw the largest increase in the year to March 2023, at 19%.

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Going out to the pub also costs more, with the price of a pub hot meal increasing 13% or £1.25 to an average £11.05 in March 2023.

It comes as a poll published on Wednesday found that seven out of 10 Scots are reducing spending on food or heating, with some skipping meals.

The latest figures, based on polling by Savanta ComRes of more than 4200 Scots in March, showed four out of five single parents, large families and low-income households all having to make reductions in spending.

That means more larger families are feeling the squeeze, with data from summer 2022 showing two thirds were making cutbacks then.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation said its research showed more than half of households in Scotland had not heated their home as much as they needed over the most recent winter.

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The LibDems have said that an inquiry should be commissioned into whether supermarkets have been “profiteering” during the cost-of-living crisis.

The party highlighted Office of National Statistics (ONS) data, which was based on the CPI (Consumer Prices Index) measure of inflation, that suggested UK food inflation currently stands at 19.6%.

But Tesco and Sainsbury’s – who according to retail research group Assosia account for nearly half the UK’s grocery market – saw their combined profits rise to £1.5 billion in 2022, a rise of more than 50% on the previous financial year, according to LibDem number-crunching.