The average household is facing a €330 price increase on their annual grocery bill, according to the latest figures from consulting company Kantar.
23% of households also said they are now struggling to make ends meet when it comes to their weekly food shop, Kantar added.
Today’s figures show that grocery price inflation hit 4.7% in the 12 weeks to April 17 – its highest level since September 2013.
Foods like cooked poultry, bread, pasta and butter have seen some of the biggest jumps in recent months.
Kantar’s latest take home grocery figures for Ireland show that sales in supermarkets fell by 7.2% over the 12 weeks to April 17.
It also noted that for the first time since the Covid pandemic began sales are in decline by 5.2% compared with two years ago, as the period now includes the start of the first lockdown when only essential shops were allowed to open.
Emer Healy, a senior retail analyst at Kantar, said the number of supermarket trips made each month has continued to fall.
Shoppers are making 3.5 fewer visits on average than this time last year when Covid-19 restrictions were much tighter.
The average spend per buyer has also fallen significantly by €144 as consumers eat more meals out of the home.
The types of items consumers are buying have also changed with sales of instant hot snacks and frozen pizzas up by 9% and 4.3% respectively over the last four weeks as shoppers turn to quick and easy meals now that many people are back in the office and juggling school runs again.
Despite rising prices, consumers were keen to make the most of the Easter weekend – the first without social restrictions for two years – today’s figures show.
Consumers spent €10.8m more on Easter eggs and seasonal chocolate over the latest four week period compared to the same time last year.
“The traditional hot cross bun is still a firm favourite, with shoppers spending an extra €620,000 this year,” Emer Healy noted.
Meanwhile, the online market continued to grow over the latest four week period, with sales boosted by 3.9% as shoppers spent an additional €2m. The online market share is now 3.3 percentage points higher than the same 52 week period in 2019.
“Many people became more reliant on online shopping over the course of the pandemic, and this has fitted in quite naturally with our busier schedules post-Covid,” Emer Healy said.
“In the context of rising prices it also allows consumers to be more considerate as they add items to their basket. While people are buying less in stores, the average number of items being purchased online is actually on the rise, growing by 3.2% year on year,” she added.
Today’s Kantar figures also show that all the major retailers saw take-home grocery sales fall in the 12 weeks to April 17.
Dunnes retained its position as the country’s largest grocer, holding a 22.4% market share in the latest 12 week period under review. The retailer was bolstered by the largest influx of new shoppers, who contributed an additional €56.8m to its overall performance.
SuperValu holds a 21.8% share of the market. Tesco follows closely behind at 21.7%, while Lidl and Aldi now account for 13% and 12.1% of the market respectively.