What will a traditional Christmas dinner cost this year?

The price of a Christmas dinner has risen by 3.4 per cent in the past year, new figures have revealed, as the average cost of a traditional meal for four has reached almost £30.

Figures from Kantar showed the price of a typical Christmas meal with all the trimmings for four people will cost £27.48 this year – up 3.4 per cent from last year’s price of £26.59.

The price rise was driven by a 7 per cent increase in the cost of a frozen turkey to £12.46.

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Brussels sprouts saw a 5 per cent rise in cost and the price of parsnips increased by 6 per cent.

The cost of a traditional turkey has risen by seven per cent.The cost of a traditional turkey has risen by seven per cent.
The cost of a traditional turkey has risen by seven per cent.

The amount consumers would typically pay for a Christmas pudding rose by 5 per cent to £2.48. A bottle of sparkling wine stayed the same at £6.47, while cranberry sauce fell in price by 3 per cent and carrots dropped by 13 per cent.

However, the report found consumers seemed keen to treat themselves to luxury foods over the festive period after last Christmas was all but cancelled due to coronavirus lockdowns, with sales of own-brand premium products the fastest growing of all groceries.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “Inflation is already nudging up the price of Christmas dinner staples. The average cost of a meal for four is now £27.48, that’s an increase of 3.4 per cent compared with last year.

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"Across the board, grocery prices are up 3.2 per cent in the latest four weeks, the highest rate of inflation we’ve recorded since June 2020.

The cost of Christmas dinner is 3.4 per cent higher than last year.The cost of Christmas dinner is 3.4 per cent higher than last year.
The cost of Christmas dinner is 3.4 per cent higher than last year.

"Consumer behaviour hasn’t caught up with these changes though. Habits we’d expect to see shift, like swapping branded products for own label or seeking out promotions, haven’t altered just yet.

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"As we count down on our advent calendars to the big day, it’s clear that shoppers want to have some fun and make this Christmas extra special.

"Price inflation doesn’t seem to be denting their desire to treat themselves and loved ones, and supermarket premium own-label ranges, such as Tesco Finest and Asda Extra Special, are the fastest growing ranges in store.

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"Last December, we saw sales of premium own-label lines hit more than £587 million and the figure could be even bigger this year.”

Kantar found take home grocery sales overall fell by 3.8 per cent for the 12 weeks to November 28, compared to the same period last year, although the figure was still 7 per cent higher than in 2019, the last Christmas period before the pandemic began.

Mr McKevitt said: “Grocery sales are now being compared against November 2020 when we had tighter restrictions across Scotland and Wales and the second lockdown in England.

"Circumstances are very different this year. With people back in the office a few days a week and restaurants and cafés open, we’re putting less in our grocery baskets for cooking at home and, as a result, the average shop size has shrunk by 8 per cent this month versus last year.

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“Our excitement about Christmas this year has been slightly tempered as news of the Omicron Covid-19 variant has emerged. As concerns grow over rising case numbers, we expect some people will prefer to shop online again to limit their visits to stores.”

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