Czech chocolate, sweets, and snacks to see significant price hike

Inflation, rising wages and the increasing cost of raw materials are set to dramatically impact the cost of living particularly at the grocery store.

 William Nattrass

Written by William Nattrass
Published on 13.10.2021 08:00 (updated on 13.10.2021)

Higher prices at the grocery store are predicted to take a bite out of shoppers' wallets in the Czech Republic in the coming months. From Kit Kats and Kofola to coffee and cereal, food companies are announcing steep price hikes as a result of inflation that could dramatically impact the cost of living.

Price increases are being driven by inflation, leading to a 4.9 percent year-on-year increase in consumer prices this September, according to the Czech Statistical Office. The pace of inflation is now at its highest since the global financial crisis of 2008, with consumer prices increasing by 0.8 percent from August.

The situation is particularly acute in the food and drink sector: prices of UHT milk were 7.3 percent higher year-on-year in September, oils and fats were 14 percent higher, and vegetables were 6.9 percent higher.

So how will the cost of rising inflation translate into which items in your shopping cart are about to get spendier? Those with a sweet tooth might want to start saving.

The world's largest food company, Nestlé, announced a significant price hike last week. Included among its two thousand brands are some of the most beloved Czech and international candies including Orion, Bon Pari, Lentilky, Kit Kat, Margot, Student Seal, Kofila, Nescafé, and Granko.

Consumers can also expect a pricier breakfast table. Coffee makers are announcing drastic price increases of tens of percent with global problems compounded by environmental problems and higher transportation costs. Kofola, which also manufactures juices, mineral water and herbal teas, is raising prices, as is Emco muesli.

Choceňská mlékárna will increase the price of its yogurts and dairy spreads from next year, while Madeta dairy will increase its prices by 2-3 percent from January. Agrofert, associated with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, has also announced that the brands in its holdings are likely to raise prices. Mattoni said bottled water price hikes are imminent.

Food production companies are being forced to raise prices in line with increased costs for packaging, raw materials, and the usage of utilities such as electricity, as well as wage increases for employees amid severe labor shortages afflicting the Czech economy.

“We are responding to inputs into our business that our becoming more expensive. As a result, there is an increase in the price of our products for end customers,” Robert Pospíšil, the head of the Net Plasy dairy, told ČTK.

Michal Škoda, CEO of Hollandia Dairy, said price increases are inevitable as the prices of necessities spiral on a global level. “Plastics have become more expensive. A tonne of polypropylene has risen in price from $500 to $2000 since February,” he told Seznam Zpravy.

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Price hikes are having a knock-on effect in stores: the Jednota cooperative operating outlets throughout South Bohemia has already raised retail prices across the board, while other grocery chains have predicted price increases for fruit and vegetables by five to ten percent over the coming months.

As consumer prices rise across the board in the Czech Republic, it is clear that the effects of the global pandemic are continuing to make themselves felt. The country’s road to full economic recovery remains fraught with danger, and Czech shoppers can expect their baskets to be more expensive for some time to come.

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