The cost of groceries in the Republic has soared by more than 16 per cent over the past year, with the rate of inflation in Irish supermarkets now at the highest level ever recorded by retail analysts Kantar.
Supermarket food prices over the three months to February 19th were up by 16.4 per cent when compared to the same 12-week period last year.
Kantar found that grocery sales growth in supermarkets more than doubled in the four weeks to February 19th, while value sales increased by 10.2 per cent, compared to 5 per cent in January.
It said record-breaking inflation was the real driver behind this growth rather than more consumption.
Irish consumers are coping with the increased cost of living by shopping little and often, Kantar said, with volume per trip down 10.9 per cent, while frequency was up 7 per cent.
Take-home grocery sales increased by 8.5 per cent in the 12 weeks to February 19th, with shoppers returning to stores more often and contributing an additional €168.7 million to the market’s overall performance.
Shoppers spent an additional €113.56 per buyer, compared with the same period last year, Kantar found.
Emer Healy, senior retail analyst at Kantar, said the sales growth was largely down to grocery price inflation hitting a new high.
"In a year of rising costs and sky-high inflation, Irish consumers are looking for ways to manage their household budgets. This has led to the Irish grocery market becoming more competitive than ever, with shoppers looking for the best deals among the retailers," she said.