Food and drink products with the biggest rise in inflation between March and April 2023

Potatoes, pasta and sugar are among some of the staple food products where inflation rates were still increasing in April according to the ONS.

UK food inflation fell marginally in April, figures released today (24 May) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show – but it is still rising for some staple food products including flour, sugar and potatoes.

The latest ONS Consumer Prices Index (CPI) data shows overall inflation in the UK fell to 8.7% in April  – the first time it has been in single digits since last August. But food prices remain significantly inflated, despite a slight drop in the rate of inflation.

A drop in inflation does not mean cheaper prices, simply that prices are rising less quickly. In March, food inflation was at 19.6%, meaning prices were 19.6% higher than they were a year ago. In April, this fell to 19.3% – so consumers are still paying almost a fifth more than they were in April 2022. Our money editor Henry Sandercock has previously explained how the CPI is calculated.

For non-alcoholic drinks, inflation was at 16.5%, compared to 14.6% in March (although this had come down from 16% in February). The ONS figures show that for some types of food and non-alcoholic beverages, the rate of inflation is still climbing, with increases of up to 7.2 percentage points month on month.

The worst affected type of items were in a category called ‘other milk products’, where inflation rose from 16.2% to 23.4%. This includes milk alternatives such as soya, as well as cream and milk-based products like milkshakes and desserts – although the data does not show which items specifically drove the increase for the category.

The chart below shows how the inflation rate continued to change for a selection of staple food products. Can’t see the chart? You can open it in a new window here.

There was also a hefty rise in inflation for fruit and vegetable juices, from 14.1% in March to 21.1% in April.

The 10 products with the biggest rises in the inflation rate between March and April were:

  • Other milk products – up 7.2 percentage points from 16.2% to 23.4%
  • Fruit and vegetable juices – up 7 percentage points, from 14.1% to 21.1%
  • Flours and other cereals – up 6.6 percentage points, from 23.4% to 30%
  • Sugar – up 5.3 percentage points, from 42.1% to 47.4%
  • Eggs – up five percentage points from 32% to 37%
  • Potatoes – up 4.4 percentage points, from 20.4% to 24.8%
  • Pasta products and couscous – up 3.6 percentage points, from 24.1% to 27.7%
  • Margarine and other vegetable fats – up 3.4 percentage points, from 15.6% to 19%
  • Other tubers and products of tuber vegetables – up 3.2 percentage points, from 2% to 5.2%
  • Mineral or spring waters – up 3.1 percentage points, from 18.3% to 21.4%
  • Yoghurt – up 2.1 percentage points, from 21.9% to 24%
  • Pork – up two percentage points, from 25.2% to 27.2%
  • Rice – up 1.9 percentage points, from 13% to 14.9%
  • Fresh or chilled vegetables (excluding potatoes and other tubers) – up 1.7 percentage points, from 20.5% to 22.2%
  • Dried fruit and nuts – up 1.4 percentage points, from 5.8% to 7.2%