The ONS inflation data for December showed food and drink price inflation continuing to rise, whilst headline inflation slowed for a second month in a row in December, down to 10.5%.

The rate of inflation eased to 10.5%, down from a 41-year high of 11.1% recorded in October 2022. Meanwhile, food and drink inflation rose for the seventh consecutive month to 16.9%.

Chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Karen Betts said that the rise in inflation continues to be driven by the aftermath of the disruption cause by Covid-19, the war in Ukraine and poor harvests as a result of extreme weather conditions last year – including  widespread drought across Europe. 

She explained: “The increased costs of ingredients, energy, packaging and the movement of goods in and out of the UK alongside the relative weakness of the pound have only made the situation worse for UK manufacturers.

“The government’s continued energy support is welcome and will help to contain food and drink price inflation. But there’s certainly more the UK Government could be doing to help keep costs down for households – including by urgently simplifying current and prospective regulation.”