THE people of Basingstoke have had their say, as record-high shop price inflation has seen everyday commodities reach prices never before imagined.

Gazette readers took to social media to express their disgust when it was discovered that the price of Heinz Tomato Ketchup had increased in Tesco to £4.40 per bottle, and £4.50 for the '50% less sugar and salt' version.

One reader expressed his distaste by saying: "That's a rip off"

Whilst another said: "And you pay more for less ingredients, they left the salt out and charged 10p for the privilege!"

READ MORE: Shop price inflation reaches record high, figures show

Shop prices are now 8.4% higher than they were a year ago, up from an 8% increase in January and well above the three-month average of 7.8%, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC)-NielsenIQ Shop Price Index.

One reader advised others to shop around to find the best deals, and even try alternatives: "I find own brands are better quality and a fraction of the cost. Beans and mayonnaise are the same."

A different reader suggested that consumers boycott big brands: "Maybe it's time to boycott buying branded stuff then, particularly those significantly pricey ones."

READ MORE: Residents in Basingstoke react to 2023 government budget

Food inflation accelerated to a record 14.5% in February, up from 13.8% in January, while fresh food prices are also now a record 16.3% higher than a year ago, up from 15.7% in January.

A different reader was concerned for the wellbeing of families, she remarked: "How on earth are parents supposed to feed their children decent food? I think it’s all down to greed."

Inflation on products other than food hit a high of 5.3%, up from 5.1% last month and above the three-month average of 4.9%, with gardening tools and pet food particularly affected by cost pressures.