It’s not a perception; shopping for basic groceries has become more expensive.
Everything from traditional Maltese bread, ġbejna, and pasta to cereal, toilet paper, and garbage bags has gone up in price in recent months, with the global inflationary trend not managing to escape the island’s shores.
Lovin Malta carried out an analysis of The Convenience Shop, one of Malta’s most popular grocery stores, comparing prices of various food and household items as they were in August 2020 with current prices.
Here are some of the findings.
Large sliced Maltese bread
Small Sliced Maltese bread
Golden Harvest French sliced white bread
Benna chocolate flavoured milk:
Benna rikotta (250g)
Benna fresh ġbejna
Benna fresh mozzarella (150g)
Barilla no.5 spaghetti (500g)
Barilla no.5 gluten free spaghetti (500g)
Barilla lasagne (500g)
Barilla farfalle (500g)
Nescafe coffee classic tin (50g)
Nescafe Gold espresso
Fitness chocolate cereal
Bonavita Granola Super Fruit
Nesquik chocolate milkshake (500g)
Frisian Flag creamy long-life milk
3 Leaves sunflower oil (1 litre)
7 Days bake roll garlic snacks
Babylon baby wipes (54 pieces)
Fabuloso floor wash (1 litre)
AIA chicken wings (1kg)
Astral toilet paper (x24 )
Medium black garbage bags
Not all food items have increased in price. For example, a carton of Benna’s regular milk still costs 94c; however, the dairy company has said it took the conscious decision to absorb certain cost increases related to the importation of raw materials so as not to burden their consumers.
Other items that haven’t become more expensive include fresh eggs, tuna cans, frozen pizzas, and certain soft drinks, beers and wines. No price decreases were spotted.
While the price increases may seem minimal in isolation, it becomes more noticeable in the final shopping bill.
For example, a quick trip to the grocery store to purchase three ftajjar, two cartons of regular milk, one packet of fresh ġbejna, two packets of gluten-free spaghetti, two small coffee tins, one fruity granola cereal, one bottle of sunflower oil, a packet of chicken wings, toilet paper, and garbage bags would have cost you €32.54 last year but costs €35.63 now, which is significant for households that need to count every single euro.
Food inflation has increased worldwide, with analysts citing a number of factors, such as supply chain disruptions exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, labour shortages, higher energy costs, extreme weather conditions, and pent-up demand in the wake of lockdowns.
Recent figures from the OECD, a group of 38 mostly developed countries, show that inflation is at a 25-year high, largely driven by soaring food and energy prices.
Questioned about rising food prices on Friday, Prime Minister Robert Abela said the government is “sensitive” to the reality of inflation, recounting how it has reduced fuel taxes and absorbed higher energy costs to precent fuel and electricity from becoming more expensive.
The Nationalist Party has urged the government to convince the European Commission to set up a €40 million rescue fund to help Maltese importers and exporters cope with higher transportation costs.
*A previous version of the article stated that a packet of Golden Harvest’s French sliced bread has remained stable at 95c. It has since been corrected to clarify that it has increased in price to €1.10
Are you able to keep up with the increased cost of living in Malta?