All food items in Spain are more expensive

by Lorraine Williamson
food items

The prices of almost all basic food items consumed daily by people have surged by two digits over the past year. Inflation hit an all-time high in February 2023, with a 16.7% year-on-year increase, leading many families to forego essential products.  

Olive oil, sugar, meat, and fresh produce have seen some of the highest price increases, with at least 14 categories growing by over 30%. According to Ernst & Young’s study, between January 2021 and January 2023, the average growth of 60 food subcategories was 23.5%, with some categories like olive oil jumping by almost 70% in that period. 

Food items with lower price increases 

On the other side of the table are those foods that have experienced a lower rise, because all the foods categorised by the INE have risen. Nuts, wine, and liquors are among the items that have experienced a comparatively lower increase in prices. Nuts’ prices rose by 3.5% in February, while wines and liquors cost 5.1% more. However, their demand patterns differ, with nut demand slightly increasing by 2.7% while wine drops by 4.8%, explained by the hospitality industry’s recovery. 

Sugar and olive oil become luxury items for some 

Sugar, sauces, and seasonings have seen the most significant increases in price during this period. Sugar has become a luxury item for some, with high prices not only in Spain but globally. Sugar quotes have reached their highest level in history. Olive oil is one of the highest-priced items, with a 34% increase from the previous year. This price surge has led to a decrease in demand, with volume sales plummeting by 12.6%, according to NielsenIQ. 

ASSSA - health insurance in Spain

Pet food is more expensive 

Pet food is another category that has seen a surge in prices, up by 24.7% while its demand has dropped by 4% from the previous year. The National Association of Pet Food Manufacturers estimates that there are over 29 million pets in Spain, with dogs (9.3 milion) and cats (5.8 milion) being the most common. 

Drugstore and perfumery section 

Aside from food items, several categories of products have experienced lower inflation over the past few months. These are products from the drugstore and perfumery section, with makeup prices rising by 4.3%, fabric softeners by 3.4%, and facial treatment products seeing a price decrease of 2.1%. Nielsen’s report notes that facial treatment products and makeup have seen a demand increase of 17.3% and 18.8%, respectively. 

Related post: Bank of Spain foresees further increase in food prices 

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