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Food prices in Belgian supermarkets up 20% in a year

08:34 05/04/2023

Supermarket food prices in Belgium grew by their highest level last month, breaking the 20% mark year on year, new figures have revealed.

Analysis by consumer protection watchdog Test-Achats found prices in Belgian supermarkets had grown by about 19.5% over the first three months of 2023, compared with the same period a year earlier.

But in March alone, food price inflation stood at 20.6% - and in some categories, such as vegetables, the year-on-year price rises exceeded 30%.

Paper products, such as tissues and toilet paper, were on average 39% more expensive in March than the same time last year. Dairy products were 26% costlier and bread 24%.

Test-Achats has been monitoring price trends in Belgian supermarkets since Russia's invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022.

"Due to the current rise in inflation, an average two-person household today spends €521 per month at the supermarket," said a Test-Achats spokeswoman. "This is €89 more than a year ago."

The organisation is asking the Belgian government to follow the lead of France and introduce measures to keep food prices down, working in collaboration with major supermarket groups.

These would include an "anti-inflation basket" - a range of everyday essential items where prices would be frozen for a defined period.

Written by The Bulletin



Belgian supermarkets apparently have an under-the-table agreement not to use competitive pricing. So a brand name item costs exactly the same everywhere, from Carrefour to Cora to Aldi/Lidl (and Delhaize when they aren't on strike). Worse still, Belgian supermarket prices are significantly higher than in neighbouring France, Germany and Luxembourg, where they do have competitive pricing. So it's been relatively easy for supermarkets here to push prices up by 20%. They apparently see Belgian consumers as easy targets/sitting-ducks.
Belgian supermarket price-fixing is nothing new and is seemingly unstoppable:

Apr 5, 2023 15:53