Households saw supermarket prices rise by an average £15 last month in yet another sign of the cost of living squeeze.
Figures revealed today by industry number crunchers Kantar showed that grocery price inflation hit 3.5% in December.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “We saw prices rise faster for a short while in spring 2020 when promotions were cut to maintain product availability.
“But before that, you would have to go back nearly four years to January 2018 to see inflation running higher.”
The data follows a separate report last week showing shop price inflation nearly trebled.
Brits saw supermarket prices go up at Christmas
Experts warn grocery bills are set to continue rising as supermarkets and other stores pass on higher costs.
The extra outlay will add to the pressure on households facing a surge in energy bills and higher taxes.
Grocery sales hit £11.7billion in December, said Kantar, just 0.2% down on the record-breaking month a year ago when strict Covid restrictions were in place.
Sales of mince pies hit £62million, up 7% on 2020, and £61million was spent on Christmas chocolates, a jump of 21%. But some traditional products were shunned, however, with sprout sales down 3%.
Tesco outperformed its big rivals in the three months to Christmas, growing its market share from 27.3% to 27.9%.
Prices are soaring due to supply chain disruption and rising energy and shipping costs. Inflation hit 5.1% in November and some economists think it could hit 7% in the months ahead.