The cost of food rose by just 0.8 per cent in August, indicating that we may at last be seeing a slowdown.
Over the past year, food costs have grown by almost 14 per cent, with prices rising by 3.1 per cent in July alone.
According to foodservice analyst Horizons, the slowdown in the rate of growth is due to a number of factors including the stability of the pound against the Euro, a good harvest for some commodities and the fact world commodity prices are beginning to be readjusted.
Peter Backman, Managing Director of Horizons said: “While foodservice operators increased their prices to consumers slightly in August, since the beginning of the year they have raised prices by one-third of the level of food price inflation.
“This means that operators have clearly been absorbing much of these increased costs to avoid frightening off increasingly edgy customers with significant price rises."
Backman warned that the industry would still need to implement measures to mitigate cost increases such as reducing portion sizes, buying more cost-effectively and using cheaper cuts of meat .
"We are still in a period of economic instability and while the eating out market has yet to be significantly hit, the run-up to Christmas could see consumers tightening their belts even further,” he said.