Easter lunch to cost 9% more than in 2021, consumer group estimates

The average household “basket” for the Greek Orthodox Easter feast on Sunday, April 24, will cost 45.34 euros, or 9% more than in 2021, for two people shopping from one of the country’s major supermarket chains  – and this does not include the cost of the traditional lamb or goat, according to a report by the Institute for Retail Consumer Goods Research (IELKA) published on Friday.

The report is based on raw data collected by IELKA researchers from the larger supermarket chains and concerns prices during Holy Week and data from the e-katanalotis app, for products typically bought by Greek consumers for the celebratory Easter meal, such as eggs, flour, tsoureki cake, vinegar, mustard, feta cheese, yoghurt, wine, beer, potatoes, tomatoes, butter, lettuce, filo pastry and soft drinks.

IELKA said the price was in line with the inflationary pressure seen in recent months, while the spread in prices was high, with a 35% difference between the cheapest and most expensive products for a typical basket, indicating a range of choices for consumers.

This includes a number of promotional offers and discounts by suppliers and supermarkets, available for almost all seasonal goods; these could lead to benefits of up to 13% for those making use of them.

The biggest price hikes were for lettuce (due to poor weather) and flour, while prices for yoghurt, beer and soft drinks were lower.

The price of the lamb and goat meat that is the centerpiece of the Easter feast has not yet settled but is considered likely to be higher as Easter approaches, while the cheapest prices are likely to be found in larger supermarket chains due to economies of scale.

The higher prices are due to a combination of factors that include higher exports to Europe due to the Easter week for Catholics and protestants, fewer imports from Britain due to Brexit and the relative shortage of animals with the optimal weight of 10-13 kilos, due to a later Easter.

Based on an IELKA survey on a sample of 1,000 consumers, meanwhile, Greeks have not returned to pre-pandemic levels in terms of how they celebrate Easter. Those participating in large family gatherings of more than 10 people have risen to 30% in 2022 but are still a far cry from the 62% prior to the pandemic. Similarly, fewer people will travel to a village or island to spend Easter (25% from 58% in pre-pandemic periods), partly due to higher travel costs.

There will also be fewer people roasting whole animals on a spit, again down to 25% from 615 in previous years, while the percentage who will roast their meat in the oven has increased from 39% to 52%.