Supermarket price increases: everyday items becoming luxuries

A report by the Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU) highlights that nearly half of all households face challenges purchasing meat and fish products due to price increase.

According to the Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU), supermarket prices have surged by an average of 38% from December 2020 to December 2023, whereas wages increased by just over 6% during the same period. The OCU analyzed the price evolution of 122 food and drugstore products across seven major chains.

The study examined over 55,000 prices from the online supermarkets of Alcampo, Carrefour, Condis, Dia, El Corte Inglés, Eroski, and Mercadona in ten cities: Barcelona, Gijón, La Coruña, Madrid, Palma, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Seville, Valencia, Valladolid, and Zaragoza.

The report indicates varying price increases across different distribution chains. Carrefour and Alcampo saw the highest increases at 45% and 43% respectively, followed by Mercadona (38%), El Corte Inglés (37%), Eroski (34%), Condis (33%), and Dia (32%). Prices from Lidl and Aldi were not included as they do not operate online stores.

Supermarket price increases: everyday items becoming luxuries

Among food items, significant price hikes were observed in mild olive oil (225%), white sugar (91%), orange juice (81%), eggs (67%), round rice (66%), and carrots (65%). Other notable increases were seen in natural yogurt (58%), salmon slices (56%), macaroni (55%), ice cream bars (55%), and whole milk (53%). Although the smallest increases were seen in fruits and vegetables, they still averaged over 20%.

The report highlights that most of the price increases, particularly for fresh produce, occur at the source, with producers bearing significant cost hikes in fertilisers and fuels. However, there are exceptions, with certain supermarket-sold items like apples and bananas experiencing higher price rises.

Supermarket price increases: everyday items becoming luxuries

In response, the OCU has called for the continuation of reduced VAT rates beyond June, extending them to meat and fish, as a survey by the organization found that 50% of families struggle to afford these items.

Additionally, the OCU advocates for a significant increase in the 200 euro cheque for families earning less than 27,000 euros, as well as expanding the number of beneficiaries by increasing the income limit.

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