SOUTH-West shoppers are paying slightly more for a basket of staple grocery items at Warrnambool supermarkets compared to two years ago, but it’s unlikely to cause too much pain to the hip pocket.
The Standard sampled 10 identical items at Warrnambool’s Woolworths, Coles and IGA stores yesterday and compared the average prices of surveys carried out in 2008 and 2011 using identical items.
The survey found that shoppers are paying an average of $58.95, up $2.05 when compared to the 2011 basket price of $56.90, and 52 cents up on the 2008 price of $58.43.
Prices on the items from the three supermarkets were averaged, with the individual prices then added together to create the basket price.
The Standard’s basket included a loaf of white bread, two litres of full cream milk, a 500-gram block of cheese, 200 grams of chocolate, 150 grams of instant coffee, one kilogram of oranges, one kilogram of tomatoes and 500 grams of butter.
Price rises were most notable on a beef blade roast and a leg of lamb. The average price of a kilogram of lamb has risen 60 cents from an average of $9.99 in 2011 to $10.59. The price of a beef blade roast has risen 66 cents, from $9.66 in 2011 to $10.32 in 2013. The price of lamb remained lower than the 2008 average price of $11.69.
Branded dairy products also experienced price rises, with two litres of milk averaging $3.59, compared to $3.33 in 2011, the average price of cheese also increased to $6.64 compared to $5.89 in 2011. Butter bucked the trend, priced 89 cents less than in 2011, at $4.43.
Ingrid Just from Choice Magazine said small increases in grocery prices were unlikely to have a big impact on consumers.
“It’s increases in utility bills and other big ticket items that are going to have the biggest impact on the cost of living,” Ms Just said.
“Small increases like the ones shown are fairly common place, and could reflect things like items coming on and off special.”
All products included in The Standard’s basket are branded products. Coles, Woolworths and independent supermarkets based in Warrnambool are included, with Aldi omitted as it does not stock all listed products. Generic labels were also omitted.