The price of bread, milk and butter has risen by 10 to 30 cents in recent weeks and while these increases seem modest, they mean that a family buying three sliced casseroles, 10 liters of milk and a 454g packet of butter per week will be worse off. just under €100 this year compared to 2021.
Increases in our supermarkets are by no means limited to these basics and prices in the aisles have been rising steadily for months, with consumers having to foot the bill.
If the cost of the average weekly store has only increased by €15 – and for many people it will increase even more – groceries will cost €780 more over the next 12 months. But that’s just the starting point.
As has been well documented, the annual cost of utility bills has jumped by more than €500 while a liter of petrol or diesel now costs at least 40 cents more than at the same time the year last, which means an average motorist will have to spend an extra €500 to keep their car on the road.
In total, the increases in these three areas alone add up to nearly €2,000, a net figure, so people will need to earn around €4,000 just to cover the cost of food, heating, lighting and driving in 2022.
While Kantar retail analysts estimated grocery market inflation at 1.2% for the 12-week period to December 26, the highest level of inflation since February 2021, Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures paint a grimmer picture.
According to official data released earlier this week, consumer prices rose 5.5% in the year to December, the biggest increase in 20 years.
CSO research suggests that the price of bread has increased by 5.3% over the past 12 months, while pasta has increased by 6.4%. Poultry increased by 3.5 percent. The price of coffee and tea climbed 2.5% and 1.9% respectively while the “oils and fats” category including butter, vegetable oils and olive oil jumped 4.4% .
These increases are annual, but many of the price increases have been recorded in the last month.
There will be more price increases to come. “We are still seeing the impact of Brexit, Covid and other supply chain issues and they will ripple through the system for much of this year,” said Damien O’Reilly, trade expert from retail and academic from TU Dublin.
Many of the increases have been replicated to the nearest hundred across the Irish grocery landscape, thanks at least in part to the practice of price matching which is a key policy adopted by major supermarkets in the state.
Asked about the price increases, a Lidl spokeswoman said it was doing “everything possible to keep the price paid by our customers to a minimum” and said any price increases would only be a last resort.
However, she pointed to “rising inflation, rising energy and raw material costs and rising fuel costs of up to 30%” and said that “as with all retailers, these external factors have had an impact on the price of a small number of products. ”.
Aldi Ireland’s purchasing director, John Curtin, said “ingredient and raw material costs have increased significantly”, but stressed that he had “worked hard with our suppliers to mitigate the cost increases of the supply chain and protect our customers from price increases”.
Tesco said it was working “in conjunction with our suppliers to minimize impacts”, but a spokeswoman confirmed that “raw material price increases, changes in input costs and the impact of global demand “could lead to price increases.
SuperValu said it was “working hard” with suppliers to “ensure we continue to deliver the best value” and warned that with rising food retail inflation “consumers may start to see price increases for certain products”.
Dunnes Stores did not respond to questions from The Irish Times.