We use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Agricultural Price Index to track prices of UK food and the FAO Food Prices Index to track prices of food globally. 

The average monthly percentage change in retail food price indices (CPI) for the UK

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is used to measure inflation, tracking the average retail prices of “typically” purchased goods in the UK. Although retail prices are just one aspect of food prices and, like all averages, cannot capture local differences or access issues, they are a good indication of general pricing trends. The Office of National Statistics releases this data on a monthly basis, including the average prices for a basket of roughly 167 take-home food and drink items.

We use the CPI’s food price indices datasets as they provide a large selection of typically purchased foods. Food price indices are weighted to estimate changes to the total cost of an average basket of typically purchased food and drink items. We focused on the 20 fruits (fresh, canned and dried, excluding juices and smoothies) and 17 vegetables (excluding potatoes) in the basket, tracking 167 items overall that have been consistently monitored since January 2020.

We’ll be using the CPI to track food prices on a monthly basis, so come back regularly to check any changes to the CPI basket.

Tracking changes in the Agricultural Price Index for UK fruit and veg

The Agricultural Prices Index is a monthly Government publication that reflects the price farmers receive for their products, also referred to as farm gate price. 

While this index is a couple of steps removed from the prices citizens pay when buying their food, it is a useful way of tracking trends in the prices received by producers for agricultural products (e.g. wheat, cattle, vegetables) and indicative of how the food chain is functioning more widely.

We track the monthly and annual changes in fresh fruit and veg price indices using the Defra data.

Food Price Commentary Updates

These monthly blogs explore what changes have been seen in the past month, the drivers behind changes in food prices and the impact on citizens. 

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