Cost of Christmas dinner up 9.3% despite grocery price inflation finally dipping

Price of Christmas dinner has risen by 9.3%. Credit: PA

The cost of a traditional Christmas dinner for four is up by almost 10% on last year to £31 despite grocery price inflation dipping for the first time in 21 months.

Groceries are still 14.6% more expensive than they were a year ago but this is down from last month’s 14.7% in a sign that the pace of inflation is easing slightly, according to Kantar.

Despite the hint of Christmas relief, shoppers will have to spend an extra £60 in December to buy the same items as last year while the cost of a Christmas dinner for four is up 9.3% to £31.

Sales of mince pies and Christmas puddings are down year-on-year as consumers leave their seasonal purchases until later to try to manage budgets in the run-up to Christmas Day.

Even the football World Cup has failed to set supermarket tills ringing, with take-home beer sales nudging up 5% to £230 million, but mostly due to increased prices.

Meanwhile, the strong growth of the discounters continued over the latest 12 weeks, Kantar’s data shows, with both Aldi and Lidl opening new stores across Britain.

Food inflation hits 12.4% ahead of ‘increasingly bleak’ winter. Credit: PA

Lidl’s year-on-year sales increased by 22%, pushing its market share to a record 7.4%, while an additional 1.5 million households shopped with Aldi compared with last year as it increased sales by 24.4% to claim 9.3% of the market.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “As we move into the busiest time of the year for supermarkets, there are signs that the pace of grocery price inflation is easing off slightly as we saw a small dip of 0.1 percentage points this month – the first drop in 21 months.

“Grocery inflation still has a long way to come down though and based on the current rate, shoppers will have to spend an extra £60 in December to buy the same items as last year.

“The cost of a traditional Christmas dinner for four has hit £31 in 2022, an example of just how much rising prices are impacting people at the tills and in their daily lives.”

However, Kantar said the coming month was on course to be the biggest ever for take-home grocery sales due to the combination of inflation and festive spending.

Mr McKevitt said: “December looks set to be a record-breaking month with sales going above the £12 billion mark for the first time.

“We’re expecting Friday 23 December to be the busiest day for pre-Christmas shopping.”

He added: “We’re seeing yet more evidence of the coping strategies shoppers are adopting to mitigate rising costs, and in particular own-label sales are growing at pace, now up 11.7% year on year.

“The cheapest value own-label lines have soared by 46.3%, but people still want to find room for treats at this time of year and this is driving growth at the other end of the spectrum too. Premium own-label sales are up by 6.1% to £461 million in November.”

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