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Food prices rose at a record rate in the year to November, with meat, eggs and dairy products climbing particularly sharply, new data shows.
Food inflation hit 12.4%, up from 11.6% in October, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
The rocketing cost of energy, animal feed and transport were behind the rise, it said.
BRC boss Helen Dickinson said winter looked "increasingly bleak" as price pressures continued "unabated".
The war in Ukraine and Covid have driven up the price of food, energy and fuel over the last year, affecting consumers and businesses alike.
The BRC's index showed that overall shop price annual inflation accelerated to 7.4% in November, up from 6.6% in October. This is the fastest rate since the index began in 2005.
It added that surging food prices were largely to blame, with fresh food prices up by 14.3%, compared with 13.3% in October.
Ms Dickinson said: "Winter looks increasingly bleak as pressures on prices continue unabated. Food prices have continued to soar, especially for meat, eggs and dairy, which have been hit by rocketing energy costs, and rising costs of animal feed and transport.
"Christmas gifting is also set to become more expensive than in previous years, with sports and recreation equipment seeing particularly high increases."
She said there were signs that cost pressures, and price rises, might start to ease next year, but "Christmas cheer will be dampened this year as households cut back on seasonal spending in order to prioritise the essentials".