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03rd Dec 2018

This Christmas will be the most expensive in a decade, survey finds

Jean-Emile Jammine

Christmas dinner will cost up to 6% more this year than in 2017, with major price increases to turkey, sprouts and Christmas pudding

It looks like not even a cosy Christmas dinner can escape a price increase this winter. Your festive favourites are expected to go up by as much as 6%, according to a survey by Good Housekeeping.

Research indicated that even the cheapest of meals will cost £3.11 per head, up from £2.94 last year and 33p up since 2009.

Seven of the 10 supermarkets surveyed were shown to be more expensive than a year ago. Lidl, last year’s winner, added £2.69 to the cost. Tesco’s yuletide basket went up by £2.95, and even this year’s cheapest, Aldi, is 75p more than last year.

It’s the Christmas staples that have been hit the hardest. The price of the cheapest turkey is up by 10.5% and even the cheapest Brussels sprouts are set to go up by 10.7%.

Christmas pudding has also felt the crunch of global dried fruit and nut shortages, with prices rising by 16%.

Experts say these price hikes are down to smaller yields caused by delayed planting due to the freezing weather earlier in the year, and then being affected later by high temperatures and low rainfall. Inflation following uncertainty surrounding Brexit is also to blame.

Caroline Bloor, consumer affairs director at Good Housekeeping, said: “Consumers have had a lot of factors outside of their control affecting the cost of their Christmas dinner this year. The extreme weather at the beginning of the year alongside this summer’s heatwave has meant yields of crops were much lower than usual.

“This coupled with the weakened pound following the Brexit vote means that food prices increased this year across the board – and consumers are footing part of the bill.”

Bloor added: “There’s still plenty of bargains to be had with competition at an all-time high between retailers – but consumers may need to be willing to shop around.”

But it’s not all doom and gloom in your shopping basket as three of this year’s shopping baskets are cheaper than in 2017. The Co-op’s Christmas dinner staples are £1.76 cheaper, Sainsbury’s basket is £2.09 less, and at Morrisons you’ll save £2.99.