What food products have risen most in price in France?

New figures show that year-on-year, prices are up most for meat, pasta, margarine, and coffee, as a result of the war in Ukraine, energy costs, drought, frost, and lingering effects of Covid

A photo of a supermarket trolley in the foreground, going down a supermarket aisle blurred in the background
Supermarket shopping has become more and more expensive for some items due to a wide array of factors
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Meat and pasta are among the food items that rose the most in price last month in France, new figures show, with supermarket prices overall 7.9% higher than this time last year.

Year-on-year to August 2022, the highest price rises were:

  • Frozen meat: 28%

  • Minced meat: 21%

  • Pasta: 19%

  • Pasta-based prepared dishes: 17%

  • Margarine: 16%

  • Roasted coffee: 16%

Non-food items were also affected, including food packaging products (18%), paper tissues (17%), and kitchen roll paper (17%).

The most recent figures come from global consumer insights service Iri.

The price rises are not solely due to the war in Ukraine, Iri said.

Emily Mayer, director of the commercial arm of the Business Insight department at Iri, said: “Overall, this inflation is also linked to event in 2021, notably the coronavirus pandemic, which caused price rises in transportation and packaging.

“There is always a delay between raw material rises and the repercussions seen at the point of sale.”

The rise in meat products is largely due to rising energy costs (as meat production is energy-intense), and the rising cost of grains and other items used for bovine feed.

Pasta price rises were largely caused by drought in Canada in summer 2021.

“Canada is one of the major producers and exporters of strong wheat,” said Ms Meyer. “This climate event reduced harvest yields, even though demand stayed the same.”

Packaging and paper items also saw a rise in price due to raw material shortages and cost rises due to Covid, and rising energy costs (the paper industry is a major consumer of gas).

Read more: What energy price rises can people in France expect for 2023?

Margarine rises were caused by a rise in the cost of oils, as a result of raw materials shortages due to the war in Ukraine. The country represents 50% of global exports of sunflower oil.

Coffee also rose in price, due to frost in Brazil, and the industry’s heavy use of gas. Rising energy prices have hit the country hard. Brazil is one of the largest producers and exporters of coffee

Over the next few weeks, rising inflation is expected to hit prices even harder. This is especially expected to affect dairy products, including milk, cream, and butter.

Read more: French inflation at 4.8% year on year to April

Dairy products were affected by the drought that France has been experiencing over the summer, after dairy farmers were unable to find enough good quality grass to feed their cattle.

It comes after a study in late May found that supermarket food prices are set to continue, resulting in average rises of €224 per person (to reach €2,963 a year in total) by the end of the year.

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