Cost-of-living crisis continues to hit shoppers in the pocket
A basket of shopping in one of Ireland’s leading supermarkets became 11pc more expensive in just eight weeks.
As the cost-of-living crisis continues, a survey by the Irish Independent has found that the prices of everyday food items are continuing to soar.
Since the beginning of June, the same basket of shopping in Lidl is 11pc dearer, while a shopping trip to Aldi, Dunnes and SuperValu is now 1pc more expensive, while Tesco prices have stayed the same.
Aldi remains the cheapest supermarket and while Lidl is the second cheapest, it has increased its prices the most since the survey began five months ago.
The same basket of shopping in Lidl is now 15pc dearer than it was in February, while Aldi’s is 9pc more expensive.
Tesco’s basket is now 3.4pc more expensive, SuperValu’s is 8pc dearer and Dunnes has seen a 14pc increase.
However, it is sometimes difficult to compare like-for-like with these stores, as some branded items have had special offers – for example, a box of Rice Krispies is currently on offer for €3.50 while it was previously €4.75.
As part of the analysis, the prices of bread, milk, butter, pasta, chicken breasts, soft drinks, crisps, cereal, eggs, tea bags, cheese, ham, yoghurt, potatoes, bananas, toilet roll and apples were looked at.
For each shop, we stuck to the same brand for each item, or the closest possible product.
The biggest price hikes have been seen in dairy and meat items, with milk now 26pc more expensive in Aldi and Lidl than it was in February. Similar hikes have been introduced in the other shops.
In SuperValu, its 375g signature chicken fillets are now 23pc more expensive than they were five months ago – now costing €7.39, up from €5.99.
Tesco and SuperValu have both increased the price of their own-brand butter by 14pc, while Greek-style yoghurt is 19pc dearer.
There has been sharp focus on the rising cost of food in recent weeks, particulary meat and dairy.
As McDonald’s recently hiked prices on its menu, Supermac’s owner Pat McDonagh said he has seen a significant rise in the cost of some foods, and is encouraging people to buy long-life food now as he fears there will be a shortage this winter.
He said he has seen a 40pc increase in the cost of chicken and beef for his restaurants.
We are consistently looking for ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs in our own operations to help to absorb the rising inflation and cost of living
And according to the latest figures from research group Kantar, consumers have cut back on supermarket spending, making fewer trips to the shops and choosing own-brand goods as grocery inflation soared by the highest level since August 2008.
Aldi’s group buying director, John Curtin, said the Irish grocery market is seeing “unprecedent cost pressures at present”.
He added: “Before making any changes to our grocery prices, Aldi examine all possibilities of absorbing additional cost, and only increase price as an absolute last resort. Our guarantee to our loyal and valued customers is that we will always offer unbeatable value.”
A Lidl spokesperson said the company is doing “everything possible” to keep the price paid by customers to a minimum.
They added: “We are consistently looking for ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs in our own operations to help to absorb the rising inflation and cost of living, as best as possible.”
A SuperValu spokesperson said the inflation in food costs is primarily driven by energy cost increases, commodity price inflation, and political uncertainty. “Across the business, we continue to seek out opportunities for increasing efficiencies in end-to-end costs, including in retailers’ and operational costs,” they said.
“Providing our customers with choice and value is a priority for us.”
Tesco and Dunnes Stores were also contacted for comment on their food pricing.