Cost of Christmas dinner down 3% in UK

By Niamh Michail contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/NSphotostudio
© GettyImages/NSphotostudio
Christmas dinner with all the trimmings will cost Brits 3% less this year as cheaper vegetables and salmon offset a 12% year-on-year rise in turkey, according to Mintec.

Outbreaks of bird flu in Europe earlier in the year resulted in large cullings of turkey that has reduced supplies, meaning a 16% year-on-year increase in cost that will affect all European countries, say Mintec analysts who have compiled a Christmas dinner price index.

This has been worsened by rising costs for UK farmers which has seen a 12% decrease in turkey slaughtering in October, which has tightened supplies even further.

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© Mintec

Vegetable trimmings will be cheaper, however, with a surplus supply in onions in Europe and Asia driving the price downwards while a bumper potato harvest in the UK has meant potato prices in December have fallen 24% year-on-year.

A festive breakfast of poached egg and smoked salmon will be cheaper than previous years.

“European egg prices soared from August due to the fipronil outbreak. However, UK egg prices have been relatively unaffected by this as UK consumers have a preference towards locally sourced eggs seeing demand relatively stable,” ​says Mintec, and UK shoppers will actually benefit from a 2% fall in prices.

The cost of Norwegian salmon, meanwhile, has fallen an impressive 32% as producers have tackled sea lice and outbreaks of disease which has increased supply.

Capture
© Mintec

Thanks to the dynamics of global food trade, the cost of traditional British Christmas pudding is dependent on farmers in California.

The US state supplies 83% of the world’s almonds and the price of almonds has fallen, down 13% in US dollars compared to the same period last year.

“Californian almond production for the new 2017/18 season has been forecast to rise to 2.25 billion pounds (1bn kg), up 5% year-on-year­, benefitting from favourable weather and an increase in bearing acreage,” ​said Mintec.

However, Californian raisin prices have “soared​” in recent months, Mintec says, as production from the US state has been steadily declining over the past several years as farmers moving to more profitable crops such as almonds, pistachios or other various fruits.

This year’s output of an estimated 275,000 tonnes is the lowest tonnage since 2004.

Overall, however, these price fluctuations should even out, meaning a packaged Christmas pudding is more or less the same as last year.

According to the Almond Board of California​ (ABC), the world’s reliance on almonds from California comes from the fact the area benefits from a Mediterranean climate, as well as the almond sector’s investment in efficient production over the past three decades.

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