How far will the price increase in our supermarkets go? The amount displayed at the bottom of our receipts always seems to be higher. Almost all products are affected by rising inflation caused by the economic situation, which contributes to the constant rise in prices.
The price increase has been felt in French supermarkets for many months now. In September 2021, INSEE already estimated inflation at 2.1% for the year. Eight months later, that level now stands at 4.8% annual inflation, more than double that.
So which products are the most affected? Why nothing can stop the rise in prices and what to expect in the coming months? We sum up.
What ten products have been hit the hardest by inflation?
A report by the IRI Institute, which calculates inflation for consumer goods in supermarkets on a monthly basis, lists the top 10 product categories that saw the most significant price increases since last year.
The ranking is compiled by comparing prices for a range of products in April 2022 with prices for the same products a year earlier.
Here are the top ten products with the biggest price increases in a year:
one. Pasta : +15.31%
2. frozen meat : +11.34%
3. Flour : +10.93%
4. Oils : +9.98%
5. Mustard : +9.26%
6. roasted coffee : +8.16%
7. Dried fruits : +8.16%
eight. Ground meat : +7.91%
nine. Pasta based dishes : +7.67%
ten. Semolina and cereals : +7.47
Why have the prices of these products increased?
Among the list compiled by the IRI, there are a large number of food products under threat, in particular because of the drought and then because of the floods in Canada. Heatwaves were also observed in Russia and the United States. In particular, they thwarted the collection of durum wheat, the main ingredient in the production of pasta or mustard.
According to Gregory Kare, director of the Observatory of Consumption at UFC-Que Choisir, meat products have seen growth for about two years now. “Beef is suffering from inflation, in particular due to the rise in the price of cereals that go to feed livestock. This phenomenon is exacerbated by periods of drought that occurred in France, as elsewhere, when the cows could not eat the grass of the field. »
Vegetable oils are under pressure due to rising fuel prices. Because they are the basis for the production of biofuels from oil and contribute to an increase in demand.
As for coffee, it is the crop failures in Brazil and the political unrest in Colombia that are causing prices to rise. This context is added to the additional costs associated with the price of energy and the Covid crisis to transport this commodity, from which France benefits solely through imports.
Other structural factors, such as rising pallet prices or packaging materials for all of these products, add another layer to inflation.
What other goods are affected by inflation?
More generally, it is raw foods such as vegetables or wheat that are most affected by rising prices. Eggs, milk and butter come just behind the top 10 foods, says Emily Mayer, a consumer products specialist at the IRI.
Unlike processed foods, manufacturers have more limited leeway to keep prices low. Ready-to-eat recipes are subject to change to compensate for increases in certain ingredients.
According to the IRI Institute, only 6% of product families are currently exempt from this general price increase. “Last month we saw over 4.5% inflation in everything but drinks”confirms Gregory Kare who mentions “levels of inflation not seen since the 1980s”.
Emily Mayer recalls that the prices for our supermarket purchases are negotiated annually between distributors and manufacturers, and then gradually enter the labels.
Read also: Negotiations with major retailers: Food industry says it’s ‘worried’
For this reason, consumer associations are concerned about the rise in prices for healthy food, which is the largest item of expenditure. “Such a sharp rise in prices, which affects all industries, does not make it possible to maintain a decent standard of living, mainly for families”worries Yvon Serijks, project manager of the National Union of Family Associations.
What contributes to the growth of inflation?
“There’s a whole bunch of bad news coming in that adds up to a very high inflationary trend.”, emphasizes Gregory Kare. According to him, the rise in prices is explained by four main reasons.
He first mentions various conclusions tested in France, but more broadly internationally. “The epidemic has created bottlenecks in international trade, especially with regard to the packaging or supply of certain foodstuffs”, he notes. It is also hard to believe that this period of tension is over, as China is still partially contained.
The period following the epidemic phases also acts as an inflation accelerator. “During periods of recovery, demand mechanically increases, which creates tension in the markets and pushes prices up. »
Rising energy prices are also pushing up the cost of many commodities. This increases transport and production costs, but also leads to the use of other types of fuel, sometimes vegetable, which creates supply difficulties for supermarkets.
The climate factor also plays a role when we talk about the current rise in prices on store shelves. Thus, the terrible drought of the summer of 2022 in France could have consequences.
Read also: MENU. Drought: Will water run out in your area?
“The current inflationary trend has nothing to do with the war in Ukraine”notes Emily Mayer, who believes that the consequences of the war unleashed by Russia on the borders of Europe are not yet felt. “Current prices are a consequence of elements that happened mostly in 2021”she adds again.
What to expect in the coming months?
This galloping inflation seems to be endless and observers are not very optimistic about the coming months. “With the resumption of negotiations on some products in the coming weeks, inflation is projected at +5% at the beginning of the summer in supermarkets. This level has not been reached since 2008., says Emily Meyer. She also believes that “The effect of the war in Ukraine should begin to be felt in the coming weeks” and help stretch the upward price movement even further in time.
She adds that the hierarchy of products most affected by inflation should be preserved.
Read also: MENU. Inflation, global headache… and not only in France
“I don’t see the beginning of inflation control”, confirms Gregory Kare. However, he believes that things are going well in France compared to other countries. “Energy shield, inflation checks or fuel rebates have allowed inflation to be capped at around 4.5%. Hard, but “less worse” than anywhere else. »