Shoppers are continuing to feel the pinch at the supermarket checkout amid the worsening cost-of-living crisis, with new data from Compare the Market showing that the price of common groceries has jumped more than 8% in just six months.
The comparison website analysed 44 everyday grocery items at major grocery stores in July and again in January and found that prices had increased in 52.27% of cases. Around a third of items (34.09%) remained at the same price, while just under 10% had seen a decrease.
Fruit and vegetables saw some of the biggest price hikes of the items analysed, including brussels sprouts (up 104.57%), brown onions (up 100%), Hass avocados (up 200%), brushed potatoes up (52.54%) and pears (up 47.36%).
Conversely, items that saw a price reduction included truss tomatoes (down 28.57%), Handee Ultra paper towels (down 16.6%), pork rashers (down 9.5%) and free-range whole chickens (down 7.14%).
Compare the Market’s Chris Ford said any price hike would impact Australian families who are already doing it tough.
“A price increase of a few dollars here and there may not seem like much, but it can have a significant impact on the weekly budget – especially if you’re doing a big grocery shop,” Mr Ford said. “We know that the big supermarkets are trying to lure in customers by locking in or dropping prices, but our analysis shows that many of the essentials we shop for each week have actually increased since last year.
“In a time where we’re seeing energy bills skyrocket, feeling pain at the petrol bowser and seeing insurance premiums rise, the last thing we want is for Australians to be forking out more than they need to on everyday items they need.
“Australia is currently experiencing a potato shortage, which could be why the vegetable has seen a steep price hike. Similarly, many fruits and vegetables are seasonal, so shoppers can expect to pay higher prices if their produce isn’t in season.”
It appears no shopping aisle was exempt from price increases, with breakfast cereals, pet food, potato chips, coffee, deli meats, soft drinks, cleaning items and cheese now costing Australians more than they did last July.
The price of Mersey Valley Original Cheddar has jumped $4.30 (or 76.78%) since last year, Red Rock Deli Sea Salt chips are up 28.57%, while Gillette razors have also seen a 29.16% increase.
Other family favourites are also up, including Flora Proactiv Margarine spread (17.64%), Nutri-Grain cereal (10.52% increase), McCain frozen peas, corn and carrots (14.28%), Tim Tams (12.5%) and Bega Tasty Cheese (11.76%).
Just as households are feeling the pinch, Mr Ford said supermarkets, farmers and companies producing these items are also seeing their costs increase.
“Unfortunately, there are many factors contributing to the higher ticket prices we are seeing at our supermarkets right now,” Mr Ford said. “For example, we’re continuing to experience some supply chain issues both domestically and internationally due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, fuel prices are on the rise, severe weather events have had a particularly devastating impact on our produce industry and companies are paying more to produce and ship the items we rely on.
“We’re likely going to continue seeing prices increase in the coming months, which is why it’s so important for Australians to take back control, wake up to waste and pay as little as possible for the groceries we need.”
However, it’s not all bad news, with many items remaining the same price.
“In some good news for shoppers, many popular items, including Golden Circle juice, Heinz Baked Beans, Milo, Cadbury chocolate, San Remo Spaghetti and Vegemite, haven’t seen price increases,” Mr Ford said.
“In addition to supermarkets locking in prices for select items, it’s important to remember that they also run weekly specials on hundreds of items. It’s a great idea to get into the habit of seeing what’s on special and where before you hit the shops, as the savings could be significant.
“Similarly, you may be able to claw back some cash by shopping for home brand items, buying in bulk or spreading the shop across multiple stores to make the most of specials available.”
Mr Ford’s top tips for spending less at the shops
Don’t pay a higher price if you don’t need to
Stores can and do set their own prices for the exact same item. Before shopping, check the catalogues for available discounts or see if you could substitute a brand-named item for a generic one. You can also split up your shop across multiple stores to maximise your savings.
Utilise rewards cards and loyalty programs
If you plan on using reward cards when shopping, ensure you “boost” within the apps to maximise the points or rewards you can earn. Also, some reward programs allow you to pay for a membership, which boasts greater perks or the ability to earn more points when shopping.
Rewards may be available through your energy retailer and insurance provider.
Check your insurance policies, energy plans, mobile phone deals and more, as you may be entitled to hidden rewards and discounts you’re unaware of. For example, many insurers allow you to earn points that you can redeem within special reward stores. Meanwhile, Australian households with an insurance policy or mobile plan with Woolworths can receive a 10% discount on one shop per month.
|Item||July 2022 Price||January 2023 price ($)||Price difference between July and Jan ($)||Percentage difference between July and Jan (%)|
|Red Rock Deli Sea Salt 165g||4.9||6.3||1.4||28.57|
|Tim Tam Original 200g||4||4.5||0.5||12.5|
|Golden Circle Golden Pash Juice 1L||2.7||2.7||0||0|
|Heinz Baked Beans 300g||2.5||2.5||0||0|
|Golden Crumpet Rounds Pk 6||3.9||4||0.1||2.56|
|Moccona Classic Freeze Dried Coffee 200g||15.5||16||0.5||3.22|
|D’orsogna Premium Ham Off The Bone Shaved From The Deli (per kg)||31.5||34||2.5||7.93|
|Australian Brushed Potatoes 4kg pack||5.9||9||3.1||52.54|
|Dairy Farmers Thick & Creamy Vanilla Yoghurt 4 Pack||4.25||4.4||0.15||3.52|
|Sirena Tuna (Italian Style Oil) 95g||2.7||2.95||0.25||9.25|
|Bega Tasty Cheese Block 500g||8.5||9.5||1||11.76|
|Flora Proactiv Margarine Spread Original 500g||8.5||10||1.5||17.64|
|Mccain Mixed Vegetables Peas Corn & Carrot 500g||2.8||3.2||0.4||14.28|
|Coca-Cola 375ml 10 pack||14.95||15.1||0.15||1|
|Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate Block 360g||6||6||0||0|
|Monini Classico Extra Virgin Olive Oil 750ml||14||15||1||7.14|
|Sunrice Jasmine Fragrant Rice 5kg||24||24||0||0|
|Gillette Mach3+ Razor each||12||15.5||3.5||29.16|
|Sanitarium Weet-bix Breakfast Cereal 1.2kg||5||5||0||0|
|Nivea Black & White Clear Aerosol Antiperspirant Deodorant 250ml||7.5||7.5||0||0|
|Huggies Infant Nappies 48 Pack||21||21||0||0|
|Finish Powerball Quantum Ultimate Pro Dishwasher Tablets Lemon 46 Pack||40||48||8||20|
|Bref Power Active Toilet Cleaner Block Flower 1 Pack||6||6||0||0|
|San Remo Spaghetti Pasta No 5 500g||2.95||2.95||0||0|
|Biozet Attack Plus Stain Power Laundry Liquid 2L||24||26||2||8.33|
|Handee Ultra Paper Towel Double Length White 240 Sheets 2 Pack||6||5||1||-16.6|
|Fancy Feast Adult Beef, Salmon & Cheese Flavour Dry Cat Food 450g||6||6.5||0.5||8.33|
|Twinings Pue Pepperpint Tea Bags 10 Pack||3||3||0||0|
|Vegemite Squeezy 350g||7||7||0||0|
|Woolworths Truss Tomatoes 500g||4.9||3.5||-1.4||-28.57|
|Odd Bunch Australian Pears 1kg||1.9||2.8||0.9||47.36|
|Australian Brown Onions 1kg||1.5||3||1.5||100|
|Mashing Potatoes 1.5kg||6||7||1||16.66|
|Macro Free Range Whole Chicken||7||6.5||-0.5||-7.14|
|Pork Rashers per kg||21||19||-2||-9.52|
|Fresh Tasmanian Atlantic Salmon (skin on) per kg||33||33||0||0|
|RSPCA Chicken Breast Fillet per kg||10||10.5||0.5||5|
|Mersey Valley Original Cheddar 235g||5.6||9.9||4.3||76.78|
|3-star Beef Mince 500g||7||7||0||0|
|Brussells Sprouts 400g||3.5||7.16||3.66||104.57|
|Australian Green Zucchini 500g||4.9||4.9||0||0|
|Total shop cost||$428.35||$465.06||$36.71||8.57%|
Prices are reflective of full retail price and sourced from Woolworths and Coles online store. Prices are subject to change, but are accurate as of 23/1/2023
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Portman | 0437 384 471 | [email protected]
Compare the Market is a comparison service that takes the hard work out of shopping around. We make it Simples for Australians to quickly and easily compare and buy home and contents, car, pet and travel insurance along with energy products from a range of providers. Our easy-to-use comparison tool helps you look for a range of products that may suit your needs and benefit your back pocket.