New figures show that grocery price inflation hit 11% in the 12 weeks to September 4 - the highest level since consultants Kantar began tracking grocery price inflation in May 2008.

Kantar said the average annual grocery bill could go from €6,985 to €7,753 this year.

This would mark an additional €768 a year that consumers will have to spend if they do not make any changes to what they currently buy or where they shop.

Today's figures show that in the four weeks to September 4, the price of back-to-school essentials - bread, ham, cheese, yoghurt, cereal and milk - rose by 19.5%, making a basket of these staples €2 more expensive than this time last year.

The price of bread is up 20%, ham prices are 12% higher, while milk is up 26% and yoghurt prices are 17% more expensive.

Kantar said that shoppers spent an additional €17m on these products compared to the same time last year. It noted that this increase was driven entirely by price as volumes were down 6%.

As consumers search for better value, Kantar said the biggest winners are retailer own-label lines and in the latest 12 week period, sales of own-label products are up 5.8%, representing an additional €72m annual spend.

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Value own-label ranges, the very cheapest products, saw even stronger growth of 21.4% compared to the same time last year as shoppers spent an additional €10.2m on these ranges.

Kantar noted that the cost-of-living crunch has also encouraged an influx of new shoppers to go online.

In the last four weeks alone, volumes were up as consumers increased their shop by 2.9%, which contributed an additional €6.8m to the overall market performance.

More than one-in-10 Irish shoppers (12%) now purchase their groceries online, it added.

Meanwhile, all the major retailers grew their market share in the last 12 weeks.

Meanwhile, all the major retailers grew their market share in the last 12 weeks.

Market leader Dunnes, which has a 22.3% share of the supermarket market, saw annual growth of 7.2%, helped by an influx of new shoppers (up 4.7%), and an increase in shopping trips (up 1.7%).

Dunnes traditionally performs well at back-to-school times and experienced strong own-label growth of 13% year-on-year.

Tesco has a 21.9% share, with sales up 3.9% compared to last year as shoppers return to store more often (6.6%).

Meanwhile, SuperValu, with a market share of 21.4%, continues to attract more trips than any other retailer, with an average of 21.5 trips made in the last 12 weeks.

Lidl holds a 13.2% share, up 3.5% year-on-year, while rival low-cost retailer Aldi sits at 12.7% to mark an increase of 1.4% as a result of existing shoppers returning to shop more often.