Branded everyday shopping items have risen faster than costs – London Business News

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) are to launch an investigation as three in four companies who make branded beans, infant formula and mayonnaise have put up their prices faster than their costs have risen.

The CMA will launch a probe into supermarkets who only offer discounted prices to their customers who sign up to their loyalty schemes.

The CMA will launch a separate investigation into the only two companies who produce the concentrate baby formula as they account for 85% of sales.

On Wednesday the CMA said that most food inflation has been driven by a hike in costs they have been hit with over recent years.

The watchdog found that pet food, mayonnaise, baked beans and baby formula has added to supermarkets profits over the past two years.

Customer have switched to cheaper products as the cost of living takes a grip for many households, which has also led to a reject in the brands.

“This switching is positive for competition and allows those able to switch to lessen the impact of high food price inflation,” the CMA said.

The watchdog said that there is a “very limited availability” of own brand alternatives for baby formula and as a result fewer parents have been able to switch products due to the cost of living.

“We’re concerned that parents may not always have the right information to make informed choices and that suppliers may not have strong incentives to offer infant formula at competitive prices,” said CMA chief executive Sarah Cardell.

She added, “Food price inflation has put huge strain on household budgets, so it is vital competition issues aren’t adding to the problem.

“While in most cases the leading brands have raised prices more than their own cost increases, own label products are generally providing cheaper alternatives.”

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