Le Télégramme: Which products have increased the most in one year?
Lionel Maugain: According to a study by the NielsenIQ Institute, it is the pasta prices food (both dry and fresh) that has increased the most so far: +11.4% on average. But for the first prizes it goes up to +42%! Grain and oil products are also on the rise. This is the case for oils (sunflower, rapeseed, palm, etc.): +2.6% on average, but +11% for import prices. This is a significant increase for this type of product. Finally, in number 3 there is coffee, with +12% on the first prizes. In addition, as part of our “Observatory of .” a sample basket made with 31 basic suppliesinflation »: compared to February 2021, the basket costs 2.4% more than in 2022. This is a fairly significant increase compared to February.
So it’s the most precarious people who are most affected?
To date, yes, because it is the entry-level products that are emerging the most. If we say that the first price of pasta has increased by 40%, that is an average: in some stores it is +60%. And it will continue: the average is expected to reach this higher range. This will also extend to other ranges – distributor brands and manufacturer brands – to an extent unknown today.
How to explain such increases?
There have been harvest problems for pasta, especially in Canada. For coffee, like other products, it is linked to climate change: a late wave of frost destroyed part of the harvest. We also have a worldwide demand that is increasing. Third, there is the rise in energy prices. We are only feeling the beginnings of the effects: they will increase in the coming months and affect all other prices. Finally, to all this we need to add: consequences of the war in Ukraine, in particular for the grain price† This will also affect many products.
Why do you say that these increases have only just begun?
They are just at the beginning! Contrary to what we thought, prices in supermarkets have been stagnant for five years. So this inflation is really new. It will be very important unheard of compared to everything we experienced until the last crisis, in 2008† Some time ago we were told an increase of 3-4%; it becomes more than that. Especially since negotiations between major retailers and producers have been reopened† But how far will it go? We cannot estimate it. All we can say is that we will have very, very strong increases in the prices of mass consumer goods, especially those based on grains (such as meat or flour), dairy products, on sugar … The increase in commodity prices will have a snowball effect on the rest.
Can we fear a decrease in the number of promotions in stores if production costs rise?
There will always be promotions: it’s business and manufacturers and distributors will do everything they can to hide this period of inflation on their prices. On the other hand, it will be necessary to pay attention to “hidden inflation”: on more than 10% of the goods we inspected, the product in promotion with the promotion came out more expensive than without. And it’s a safe bet that this way of doing things will multiply: they will reduce the quantities of the product, change the recipe of a product by using less noble ingredients to hide the increase… Besides, we could have deletions : The distributor may decide to remove certain brands from the shelves because he finds the increase too high for his brand and his customers. It is not a shortage, because here it is voluntary.
Should we stock up today as prices will rise even more in the coming weeks?
It hurts me to say that, but yes. The discerning consumer can take advantage of attractive offers on consumer products, such as toilet paper, to To stock up† Three packs for the price of two, the second for half the price… Don’t hesitate: the distributors are liquidating the stocks there. On the next delivery, the same products will be much more expensive.