Christmas dinner price 'rises by 14 per cent'

The price of a basket of Christmas food has increased by 14 per cent since last year, with many items rising above the rate of inflation. 

A typical list of 12 Christmas items comes to £64.25, catering for six people at a cost of £10.71 per person, according to research conducted by the BBC

However, in 2015, the average basket came in at a cost of £9.41 per person.

In October, the British Retail Consortium warned shoppers could face higher prices if the Government failed to strike the right Brexit deal with the EU. 

The BRC said that without reaching the right agreement with the EU by 2019, the UK could be forced to use World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules which could cause the price of meat to rise by as much as 27 per cent. 

Analysts also blamed the falling value of the pound and market readjustments following several years of deflation. 

This year, the cost of turkeys, red wine, potatoes and sprouts have all risen above inflation, according to analysis by the BBC’s England data unit, using figures provided by mySupermarket. 

It also found the cost of a box of crackers had gone up by 41 per cent since 2015, with an average box costing about £10.90, compared with £7.73 previously. 

Tesco boss John Allan warned customers to brace themselves for price rises, after one of its biggest suppliers Unilever attempted to pass on a 10 per cent price increase earlier in the year, causing the supermarket to briefly suspend online sales of Marmite and other popular brands.

However, Good Housekeeping figures suggest it is possible to feed eight people for under £20, or £2.48 a head if people shop around. 

According to the magazine, the prices of different Christmas dinner essentials are now 10.8% down since 2009.

Consumer director Caroline Bloor said the overall cost reduction was down to big discounting chains such as Aldi and Lidl.

However, in spite of the alleged price hike, sprouts have not reached the same highs experienced in 2010 when a hard frost caused a shorthage and sent prices soaring to £9.56 a kilogram. 

“Despite Brexit, inflation worries and other current affairs it looks like the price war between supermarkets is keeping the cost of Christmas stable,” Gilhad Simhony, chief executive of mySupermarket told the BBC. 

“Many items have risen in price beyond inflation expectations, but shoppers are still able to make a saving on their Christmas basket by taking advantage of offers and the fierce competition between retailers.”

However, analysts warn that price hikes may hit harder in the new year once the Brexit wheels are set in motion. 

“Since the EU referendum there’s been a lot of uncertainty and that doesn’t help anyone. The value of sterling has fallen, which makes imported goods more expensive,” Steven Dresser, analyst at Grocery Insight, told the BBC. 

“A lot of crackers are made in the Far East. Anything imported from the Far East will go up in cost and we’re likely to see that more next year. It doesn’t leave retailers with much wiggle room.

“We’re also coming out of a period of deflation, with prices having come down since 2012. Some prices are just swinging back again.

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