Turkey price rise bucks Christmas dinner trends

The overall cost of traditional Christmas Day meals with all the trimmings has fallen 3% year-on-year. However, turkey prices are up 16% compared to last year. 

According to the latest Mintec Christmas Dinner Index, bird flu outbreaks across Europe earlier in the year resulted in large cullings of turkeys, reducing supplies. 

The increase in prices was also attributed to rising costs for farmers in the UK, resulting in UK turkey slaughterings falling 12% year-on-year in October, further limiting supplies. 

For those that prefer ham at Christmas dinner, there’s more bad news. Pork prices are up 17% year-on-year in December due to tight supplies and high demand over the summer. However, Mintec reported that prices had begun to fall in the run-up to Christmas, driven by increasing production and falling post-summer demand.

Although the traditional festive meats are more expensive than last year, a Christmas breakfast of salmon and eggs is driving costs for the day down. Despite European egg prices rising in August, due to the fipronil outbreak, UK egg prices have been relatively unaffected by this as consumers have been buying locally-sourced eggs, meaning UK egg prices are currently down 2% year-on-year.

In addition, Norwegian salmon prices have been declining, due to good supply following low incidences of sea lice outbreaks and disease this year. With harvests increasing throughout the second half of 2017, Norwegian prices are currently down 32% year-on-year.

We might pretend we don’t care about the vegetables, but prices for these are also down due to increased stock. The prices of potatoes, carrots, onions, parsnips and, of course, sprouts all fell year-on-year.

A Mintec spokesperson said: “Turkey might be more expensive, but you’re likely to save money on your pigs in blankets and veggies. Butter is also likely to fall slightly towards Christmas, but remains higher year-on-year.”

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