Cheese, butter and baby milk are being given safety labels amid rising costs

£6 butter tubs are a popular target for shoplifters (Image: @CharIieBennett/Twitter)

Shoplifting has increased (Image: @CharIieBennett/@Celeste_Tam42/Twitter)

Supermarkets have started putting security labels on everyday items like cheese, butter and baby food as inflation continues to rise.

A rise in shoplifting due to the cost of living crisis has forced many stores to expand the use of magnetic alarm triggers, normally reserved for expensive items such as steaks, wine and cosmetics.

An Asda branch in the north-east put security stickers on 750g containers of Lurpak spreadable butter priced at £6.

The same product sells for as much as £7.25 in some supermarkets, while the average price for a 500g tin has risen by a third over the past year from now £4.49.

Meanwhile, £3.99 packets of own-brand cheddar have been fitted with Hardlock labels at an Aldi store.

Many Sainsbury’s stores will label cups of Aptamil baby, toddler and follow-on milk.

A Tesco in Streatham, south London, has put labels on tins of formula, some of which now cost up to £21.

Brits stole nearly £500million worth of everyday goods, including toiletries and fresh produce, according to surveys in the last year alone.

£6 butter tubs are a popular target for shoplifters (Image: @CharIieBennett/Twitter)

£6 butter tubs are a popular target for shoplifters (Image: @CharIieBennett/Twitter)

That equates to around £25 worth of items per family.

According to MyFavouriteVoucherCodes, 34% of adults said they stole something in the last year because they didn’t scan it at the self-checkout, up 22% from the previous year.

Of 2,584 shoppers surveyed, 69% said the rising cost of living drove them to steal.

But 43% said they did so because they couldn’t scan the barcode at checkout.

Cheese and butter are being tagged with security tags amid the cost of living crisis

Aldi’s Everyday Essentials Cheddar was also tagged (Image: @Celeste_Tam42/Twitter)

Most of the items stolen were toiletries and hygiene items, followed by fresh fruit and vegetables, baby food and sweet treats.

The company’s chief executive, Julian House, said: “Theft cannot be condoned in any way. But the results underscore the dire situation many find themselves in during this cost-of-living crisis.

“Such a high proportion suggests they are stealing necessary items that they simply cannot afford.

“This speaks to a societal and economic problem that simply needs to be addressed on a larger scale than is currently the case.”

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Justin Scacco

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