Monday 19 March 2018

Revealed: Price of groceries rises by up to 79pc since recession began

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Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Families are being forced to dig much deeper into their pockets when purchasing essentials such as bread and milk as grocery prices continue to rise.

A basket of basic household staples commonly bought in supermarkets has increased by €9.59 since before the recession in 2007.

The same basket has seen some items rise by more than 70pc in the past 15 years.

A supermarket basket survey carried out by the Consumer Association of Ireland (CAI) found that the average cost of 19 commonly bought items now stands at €42.89.

The same basket before the recession in 2007 cost €33.30.

In 2000, it would have cost €29.84, a difference of €13.05 or 43.7pc.

‘Surveys suggest that people are eating less because they cannot
afford to buy food’
‘Surveys suggest that people are eating less because they cannot afford to buy food’

This is despite the Central Statistics Office saying that the average change in prices over the past 15 years should stand at 34.3pc.

When items that are now sold in different-sized packages are taken out, the biggest increase was seen in the cost of a bottle of Heinz ketchup, now priced at €2.63 - an increase of €1.16 since 2000. Customers are also paying 81 cent more for a packet of Denny Gold Medal sausages, an increase of 74.9pc, while Batchelors baked beans have increased from 65 cent to €1.08.

A litre of Avonmore milk rose from 79 cent to €1.24, while a box of Lyons tea bags has seen an increase of €1.45 in the last 15 years.

The 19 items included in the survey were determined to be common purchases for the typical Irish household.

As much as possible, the survey is comparable every year but this year had to be amended due to a resizing of the Cadbury dairy milk chocolate bar from 100g to 200g and Siucra sugar.


CAI policy advisor Dermott Jewell said that some of the price increases are making life very difficult for consumers.

"I think that there needs to be an openness to acknowledge that there are many consumers out there saying 'I cannot manage'," said Mr Jewell.

"Other surveys suggest that people are eating less because they cannot afford to buy food. They are changing their diets for no other reason than they are being forced to buy less."

Mr Jewell added that more needs to be done to protect vulnerable consumers.

"Whatever price problems businesses have the consumer has them more, if not worse, because they cannot offset costs or up sales.

"They just pay what they are asked to pay," he said.

"It always comes down to who is making money out of this but everybody is getting poorer so something is seriously wrong," he added.

Prices in 2015 also continued to creep up when compared to last year's figures.

The cost of this year's full basket increased by 2.24 pc compared to 2014.

Five items did not change in price in the past 12 months. Six items increased in price.

The largest increases were in Head and Shoulders shampoo, up from €3.89 to €4.33, and Fairy washing-up liquid, up from €1.52 to €1.62.


Batchelors baked beans increased from 99 cent to €1.08, Heinz ketchup increased from €2.49 to €2.63, Domestos bleach increased €1.52 to €1.59 and Kelloggs Corn Flakes were up by 9 cent to €2.82.

Irish Pride bread saw the biggest decrease - from €1.72 to €1.48 - while the cost of store-brand milk, as well as Birds Eye peas, Lyons teabags, Brennans bread and Donegal Catch all dropped.

"It shows a certain amount of change from retailers," said Mr Jewell.

"However, items you need to purchase less frequently increased."

Irish Independent

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