Ups and downs of the cost of Christmas treats

The Office for National Statistics has been keeping a beady eye on the way prices are going in the run-up to Christmas, and has now revealed the average cost of a seasonal shopping basket.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 24th December 2011, 4:01 am

Details of the average cost of the items needed for a Christmas dinner have been taken from the CPI/RPI basket of goods used to calculate consumer price data, and show that the average price of some items has risen by as much as 50 per cent since last Christmas.

The cost of turkey steaks has risen from an average price of £7.85 per kg last November to £8.15 per kg this November, an increase of 3.8 per cent.

For those not keen on turkey, the cost of fresh chilled chicken has gone up from £2.93 per kg last November to £3.14 per kg this year.

The picture on vegetables is mixed. The prices of carrots (-20.5 per cent), old potatoes (-10.4 per cent) and new potatoes (-9.0 per cent) have all dropped, but broccoli (+4.4 per cent), cauliflower (+6.3 per cent) and frozen peas (+4.6 per cent) have all risen.

The ingredients for pigs in blankets have both gone up. The average cost of back bacon has risen from £8.58 to £9.11 per kg, with the cost of pork sausages rising from £4.10 to £4.33 per kg.

Old world red wine to accompany dinner has gone up by 14.2 per cent, from £4.93 to £5.63 a bottle, while the price of new world white wine has risen by 8.1 per cent, from £6.07 to £6.56.

Champagne has risen by 8.6 per cent, from £26.65 to £28.93. The average cost of a bottle of sherry or port has risen from £6.55 per bottle to £7.30.

For people wanting an after dinner cheese course, the average price of hard regional cheese has only risen by 1.7 per cent, from £6.97 to £7.09. Cream crackers to accompany the cheese have risen by the most, increasing from 55p to 83p, a rise of 50.9 per cent.

For pudding, sponge cake has risen by an average 18.2 per cent over the year, while ice cream is up 6.0 per cent.

Ground filter coffee is up 20.9 per cent, while a box of chocolates to accompany it is up by an average of 6.7 per cent.