A survey by the Consumers Association of Ireland (CAI) which claimed that the price of a basket of grocery items prices increased by 2% last year, with some items increasing in price by 15%, has been dismissed by a number of Irish retail groups.
The report, which analysed the prices of the top 19 products in Ireland including milk, bread and sugar, showed an increase despite general inflation remaining static at 0.2% in the past year until January 2014.
Of the 19 top items surveyed, 13 rose in price between the group's previous study in January 2013 and the current study, carried out in February this year.
The group said that one of the largest increases in price was on Squeez premium orange juice from €1.60 in 2013 to €1.81 in 2014, a 13% increase. Siucra sugar rose from €1.45 to €1.55, while a litre of Avonmore milk increased from €1.14 to €1.24 according to the report.
It said that pice of Brennans bread and Kerrygold butter did not increase in the past year, while Heinz Ketchup, Kellogg's Corn Flakes and Erin soup decreased in price. The CAI report also said that the average price of a basket of grocery shopping amounted to €41.95, which was up 89 cents up on last year's basket, a rise of 2.2%.
However, in contrast, Central Statistics Office (CSO) data shows that food and drink prices actually fell by 6% during the past year.
Stephen Lynam, director of Retail Ireland told Retail Intelligence that the CAI suggestions that grocery prices have increased by as high as 15% is bogus and simply not accurate. He said in response to the survey findings, “The CSO provides the most accurate of information and surveys over 100 items, not just 19 products like the CAI survey. The CAI results can lead to misunderstandings and is not very helpful.”
Lynam added, “There is no inflation in the Irish economy. The fact that the CAI survey does not include own-brand items doesn’t give an accurate reading of the grocery market and is in fact a little bit strange.”
Retail Excellence Ireland also dismissed the CAI report on grocery prices as it said the figures contradict the CSO results. David Fitzsimons, CEO of Retail Excellence Ireland told The Journal that, “despite what this report states, none of our members are enjoying 12% food price inflation over the last few years. REI members continue to offer great value and service even though they are operating in an extremely difficult trading environment”.
In response, Dermott Jewell, CEO at Consumers’ Association of Ireland said that, “The REI can attempt to dismiss the findings all they like but we’ve been tracking the price of the same branded products since 2000.”
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson