Food prices up 10 percent, cereals by half

Supermarket shelves (photo is illustrative).
Supermarket shelves (photo is illustrative). Source: Merilin Pärli/ERR

Food price have been climbing for a year, with the advance now at 10 percent, 50 percent for cereals.

Oliver Rist, head of purchasing for Coop, said that recent hikes follow Russia's attack on Ukraine as an important agricultural producer.

"Ukraine also manufactures a lot of packages. Supply chains are less than intact. Even if the factory is still operational, it could be difficult to get the products out of the country," Rist offered.

Kristjan Anderson, head of business accounting for the Selver chain of supermarkets, said that price advance has reached almost all product groups.

"The situation is still more or less stable concerning beverages and alcohol, with price fluctuation contained to 5 percent. We are talking about average price advance of 10 percent in all other product groups. Price hikes are sharper for cereals, coffee and fish at 20-25 percent or more, with some segments seeing 40-50 percent," Anderson said of prices compared to last year.

Coffee and fish price advance is not the result of war, Talis Raak, head of purchasing for Rimi explained.

"Salmon and trout price advance is caused by growing demand and the fact that Norwegian fish farms cannot keep up with it," Raak said.

He added that Rimi has not seen a slump in sales.

"There is one group where customers are looking for cheaper alternatives – milling industry products. We are seeing lower sales volumes in some groups, such as salmon and trout. Then there are product groups where customers have taken note of higher prices but have not reduced consumption. One such example is coffee the sales volume of which has not changed," Raak said.

Kristjan Anderson said that Selver customers have dialed back fresh meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetable purchases compared to a year ago. But Selver stores are also seeing increased customer figures. Anderson suggested that people might be eating out more again after the pandemic.

Traders dared not predict what could happen to food prices moving forward.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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