This introductory chapter sets out the background motivation for the contributions to this volume. While considerable attention has been paid to events on world commodity markets since the late 2000s, commodities traded on world markets are not the same as food sold at the retail level. The chapter outlines the experience of domestic EU food inflation relative to world commodity prices and assess the debate on why domestic food inflation may or may not matter. It also introduces the issues relating to price transmission and ask why competition in the EU food sector has attracted attention in this regard. Finally, given the recent research progress in using high-frequency scanner data to address price behaviour at the retail level, the introduction discusses the potential advantages of using scanner data, its use underpinning several of the contributions to this book.
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