Belfast Telegraph

Cheaper Christmas dinner on the menu as fresh food prices drop

By Simon Read

Christmas dinner with all the trimmings is set to be cheaper than expected this year after food prices recorded a fall for the first time since 2006.

Fresh food slipped 0.3% over the year led by a fall in the price of vegetables which is good news for those planning a traditional meal full of sprouts, carrots and potatoes.

However, meat continued to climb in price, which is less pleasing for those ordering a seasonal turkey.

Meanwhile, ambient food - which comes in tins and packets - dropped 0.2%, which could mean lower prices for stuffing and cranberry sauce. There was good news in the latest shop price index from the British Retail Consortium for yuletide boozers, too.

November was the first month alcoholic beverages experienced deflation since the index began eight years ago

Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight at Nielsen, which conducted the research, said: "The savvy Christmas shopper can expect some very competitive prices across food retailers, in particular for fresh and seasonal foods.

"As Christmas swiftly approaches, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that budgets will go a little bit further this year."

Separate research published by HSBC showed that by using basic and budget ranges, families can buy Christmas dinner and drink for eight people for as little as £23.20.

If they spread the frugality to the rest of the Christmas shopping, they could snap up decorations, cards, four presents and gift wrap for as little as £102.48, including the cost of their dinner for eight.

A survey among UK supermarkets from Good Housekeeping last month suggested Christmas dinner for eight could cost as little as £21.31, or the equivalent of £2.66 per person.

However, for a full Christmas dinner, the survey reckoned Iceland is the cheapest one-stop shop with at £27.33.

Belfast Telegraph


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