Food price rises sped up in January

Food prices keep going up and in January rose at an even higher rate than the end of 2022. The increase during the month was a whopping 1.4 percent – one of the biggest increases since food prices began to move up almost a year ago.

Portionsbitar av torsk hör till det som ökat mest i pris under januari, 64,2 procent, enligt Matpriskollen. Arkivbild.

Portionsbitar av torsk hör till det som ökat mest i pris under januari, 64,2 procent, enligt Matpriskollen. Arkivbild.

Foto: Leif R Jansson/TT

Ekonomi2023-02-06 16:30

For some goods, the price increases were absolutely enormous in January compared to December, Ulf Mazur notes in amazement. He is CEO and founder of the independent site Matpriskollen, which examines the price development of roughly 40,000 items in the major chains.

–There is no stopping it, he says when he goes through the January increases.

During January, daily goods increased by 1.3 percent compared to December, and food, which is a narrower category, increased by 1.4 percent. Looking back twelve months, food prices have increased 16.3 percent, according to Matpriskollen.

– It was a bit calmer during the autumn in September, October and November, but now that the increases have hit again, they are huge, he says.

Among the product categories that have increased the most are snacks, fish and shellfish, vegetables and bread.

Snacks and beer

Several product categories, such as beer, sweets and sugar have not seen significant rises before. But now the increases came, and in a big way.

Mazur gives some examples. Frozen cod portions of a certain variety are up a whopping 64.2 percent in January alone compared to December, a chain's own-brand instant sugar by more than 55 percent and granulated sugar by 44 percent.

– When individual items increase so much, it becomes like a snowball – it doesn't end.

This time, it is Coop that raised the most of all the chains, according to Matpriskollen's surveys. Coop was a bit slow with increases earlier, but now in January it has made many increases, says Mazur.

Producers are strongly pressured by increased costs for, among other things, raw materials, packaging materials and transport. The shops are also under pressure, he says.

–There is such cost pressure now.

As the producers are hit by higher costs, the price increases are negotiated with the chains. But not all categories are negotiated at the same time, so sometimes price increases lag behind.

– There is a delay of three to six months.

Prices continue to rise

Mazur believes that we will see continued price increases in the spring. Even if the rate of inflation were to slow down now.

– The rate of price increases will slow down. But the price increases will continue.

As the cost increases subside, there will be no price reductions – the prices will remain at the raised level, he explains. However, coffee, which has been reduced by around ten kronor per kilo very recently, is a shining exception.

– It shows that there is a willingness on the part of some to lower prices when costs have been reduced.

Fact box

Groceries increased by 1.3 percent in January. In six months the increase is 6 percent, and in twelve months 14 percent. For food, the increase is 1.4 percent in January, 6 percent in six months and 16.3 percent in twelve months.

In December, inflation according to the CPI measure rose to 12.3 percent on an annual basis, the highest level since February 1991.

Source: Matpriskollen