Christmas dinner to be cheaper this year as price falls for first time since 2006

Fresh food slipped 0.3% over the year, led by a fall in the price of vegetables

Simon Read@simonnread
Wednesday 03 December 2014 10:31
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Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings is set to be cheaper than expected this year after food prices recorded a fall for the first time since 2006.

Fresh food slipped 0.3 per cent over the year led by a fall in the price of vegetables which is good news for those planning a traditional meal full of sprouts, carrots and potatoes. However meat continued to climb in price, which is less pleasing for those ordering a seasonal turkey.

Meanwhile, ambient food – which comes in tins and packets – dropped 0.2 per cent, which could mean lower prices for stuffing and cranberry sauce.

There was good news in the latest shop price index from the British Retail Consortium for yuletide boozers, too. November was the first month alcoholic beverages experienced deflation since the index began eight years ago.

Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight at Nielsen, which conducted the research, said: “The savvy Christmas shopper can expect some very competitive prices across food retailers, in particular for fresh and seasonal foods, where some prices are lower than last year.”

Separate research published yesterday by HSBC showed that by using basic and budget ranges, families can buy Christmas dinner and drink for eight people for as little as £23.20.

If they spread the frugality to the rest of the Christmas shopping, they could snap up decorations, cards, four presents and gift wrap for as little as £102.48, including the cost of their dinner for eight.

A survey among British supermarkets from Good Housekeeping last month suggested Christmas dinner for eight could cost as little as £21.31, or the equivalent of £2.66 per person.

However, for a full Christmas dinner the survey reckoned Iceland is the cheapest one-stop shop with at £27.33, ahead of Lidl at 28.13, Morrisons at £29.12 and Aldi at £32.06.

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