Cost of packed lunches rises by 70%: School lunch boxes up £4.88 in a year to £11.87 a week

Cost of packed lunches rises by 70%: School lunch boxes up £4.88 in a year to £11.87 a week as price of tomatoes, bread, cheese and yoghurt soars

  • New data shows the cost of common packed lunch ingredients has risen sharply
  • The price of cheese has risen by 132 per cent while tomatoes are up 146 per cent
  • This means a family would have to fork out £11.87 for a week’s worth of lunches 

The cost of children’s packed lunches has risen by 70 per cent in 18 months as the cost of living crisis continues to punish hard-hit families.

Everyday items used to make children’s lunches, including bread, ham, cheese, tomatoes, biscuit, apples, yoghurt and crisps have soared in price in the past year.

According to research by Starling Bank for the Sun, tomatoes are 146 per cent more expensive while cheese has shot up by 132 per cent.

Yoghurt has almost doubled in price while the price of bananas has risen from an average of 73p to an average of 97p as well.

The price increases mean the ingredients, popular for making children’s packed lunches, now cost a family £11.87 to buy for one week’s worth of food – a sharp increase from the £6.99 it cost in April 2021, the newspaper reports. 

It comes after data from research firm Kantar revealed a £571 annual increase in the average UK household’s grocery bill, or £10.98 every week, when compared to 12 months ago.

Pictured: New data shows cost of children's packed lunches has risen by 70 per cent

Pictured: New data shows cost of children’s packed lunches has risen by 70 per cent

Rampaging prices of food and drink saw the cost of groceries jump by more than 12 per cent in the past month alone, up from last month's record of 11.6 per cent, research firm Kantar said

Rampaging prices of food and drink saw the cost of groceries jump by more than 12 per cent in the past month alone, up from last month’s record of 11.6 per cent, research firm Kantar said

Rampaging prices of food and drink saw the cost of groceries jump by more than 12 per cent in the past month alone.

Milk, butter and dog food experienced massive price increases, 31 per cent, 25 per cent and 29 per cent respectively, and the average annual grocery bill will now rise from £4,610 to £5,181 if consumers fail to shop around for cheaper deals. 

Sales of the very cheapest own-label value products are up by 33 per cent on a year ago, with almost one in four shopping baskets containing these items.

Overall spending on all retailer own-label lines was £393 million higher during the latest four weeks, pushing their share of the market to 51.1 per cent.

Take-home grocery sales increased by 3.8 per cent over the quarter – the third month of growth in a row after more than a year of decline as a consequence of comparisons with the pandemic.

Separate data from Trolley.co.uk shows the cost of everyday staples, including milk, butter and bread has rocketed over the past 12 months, while sunflower oil, chicken breasts and coffee have also seen huge increases.

Statistics show cash-strapped families face a £571 jump in annual grocery bills - with milk, butter and dog food all experiencing price increases at 31%, 25% and 29% respectively

Statistics show cash-strapped families face a £571 jump in annual grocery bills – with milk, butter and dog food all experiencing price increases at 31%, 25% and 29% respectively

Across all food types, prices rose by 13.1 per cent in the 12 months to August, the highest rate for exactly 14 years. 

Meanwhile, baking fans will also face the squeeze as figures from the Office of National Statistics showed basic ingredients such as flour and jam have increased by almost 30 per cent.

Research by investment platform eToro revealed the cost of ingredients to make a Victoria sponge cake has risen from £11.19 last year to £13.50 this year, The Telegraph reports.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 9.9 per cent in the 12 months to August, slightly down from the 10.1 per cent increase in July.

According to the CPI, the fall in the price of motor fuel made the largest ‘downward contribution’ to annual inflation rates between July and August.

However, the statistics agency warned: ‘Rising food prices made the largest, partially offsetting, upward contribution to the change in the rates.’

According to supermarket comparison Trolley.co.uk, the cost of ingredients to making a Victoria sponge cake have increased by more than 20 per cent in the past 12 months

According to supermarket comparison Trolley.co.uk, the cost of ingredients to making a Victoria sponge cake have increased by more than 20 per cent in the past 12 months

Trolley.co.uk data

Trolley.co.uk data

Trolley.co.uk data

Data from Trolley.co.uk shows the cost of staples, including milk, butter and breads has rocketed in 12 months. Sunflower oil, chicken breasts and coffee have also seen huge rises

And while it eased slightly last month, UK inflation is still the highest among all G7 countries.

Such is the situation caused by the ongoing price hikes, four out of five low-paid workers say the cost-of-living crisis is the worst financial period they have ever faced.

More than half of 2,000 workers surveyed by the Living Wage Foundation said they have used a food bank over the past year, with many paying more visits in recent months.

The foundation said almost half of low-paid workers now regularly skip meals and nearly a third are unable to heat their homes due to financial reasons.

Research has shown that almost a quarter of all workers have had to take out a payday loan to cover essentials, said the report.

Living Wage Foundation director Katherine Chapman said: ‘Everyone is feeling the pressure from soaring inflation, but our polling shows that low-paid workers are being hit harder than most, with well over half using food banks in the last 12 months.

‘These shocking findings bring to life what it’s like to be paid less than a Real Living Wage during a cost-of-living-crisis. It’s more important than ever that those employers who can, step up and provide a wage based on the cost of living, joining over 11,000 Living Wage employers across the UK.’

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