Share article:
Share article:

Belgian groceries up to 10% more expensive due to pandemic

Credit: Wallpaperflare

Belgian consumers pay up to 10% more for basic groceries like meat, fruit and vegetables when compared to 2019 due to the pandemic, the Belgian government reported.

The government bureau for statistics, Belstat, showed that prices have increased for fruit (+10%), fruit juice (+9%) and vegetables (+5%). Similar increases were seen for products like breakfast cereals (+8.6%), ice cream (+7.6%), fish (+5.5%) and meat (+3.3%).

On average, food prices have increased by 3.2% when compared to last year. Items like bread, tobacco, candy, dairy and alcohol saw an overall 2.4% price increase.

At the same time, prices dropped for plane tickets (-14.4%), natural gas (-15.8%), electricity (-6%), and petrol (-5.8%).

Related News

 

“The price increases are largely the result of a lower supply of certain products, due to lower harvests caused by poor weather conditions,” the report read. Belgian farmers, however, say that Belgian harvests are “not so bad” and that the 10% price increase does not apply for local fruit and vegetables, het Nieuwsblad reported. It is due to more exotic fruits that the average price rate has increased.

Many imported fruits come from Spain, such as oranges, lemons and limes. Spain has been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis, leading to more difficult circumstances for fruit picking such as lack of personnel, causing prices to increase up to 40%.

For products that originate outside of the European Union, such as lychees, the low rate of passenger flights has made import more difficult, as these products would usually be transported on those flights.

The price of processed products has increased largely due to consumers’ changed shopping behaviour. The pandemic and the subsequent safety measures have caused people to only shop for what they need and to leave as soon as possible, leaving a different situation to pre-pandemic times.

“Supermarkets are responding to this trend,” Gino Van Ossel, Professor of Retail at the Vlerick Business School in Ghent, said. “The pressure to give discounts is lower. Supermarkets such as Colruyt, which follows the promotions of surrounding supermarkets, do not have to adjust its prices to match them. Fewer prices are lowered as a result.”

Amée Zoutberg
The Brussels Times

Latest news

England now accepting cheaper Covid tests from fully vaccinated travellers
Fully vaccinated travellers who enter England from non-red countries will only be required to book a lateral flow test to take following their ...
Re-introducing face masks indoors considered as Covid-19 situation worsens
Belgium's council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation, and reintroducing face ...
Federal museums to receive €2.9 million booster shot
Federal museums will receive an additional €2.9 million in support from the government for the fiscal year 2021, of which the first payouts will be ...
European Parliament emphasises healthy food and animal welfare in EU Farm to Fork Strategy
The European Parliament adopted this week a resolution on the EU Farm to Fork Strategy calling for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food ...
Threats of strike action could affect Brussels’ STIB network from Monday
Brussels public transport operator STIB's trams, buses and metros could be affected from Monday 25 October onwards as the union representing the ...
Number of international adoptions in Belgium continues to drop
The number of regulated international adoptions authorised by Belgium further dropped in 2020, continuing an ongoing decreasing trend. Last ...
Disaster drill with emergency services held at Brussels Airport
Around 300 people took part in a disaster drill held was organised on Saturday by Brussels Airport in collaboration with external emergency services ...
Austria presents bill to legalise euthanasia
Austria’s government on Saturday presented its proposals for legalising assisted suicide, in response to a Constitutional Court ruling that the ...
Brussels’ Museum Night Fever draws in some 12,000 visitors
Some 12,000 participants took part in the 14th edition of Museum Night Fever in Brussels, with the 29 participating museums filled to the maximum ...
Relaunch of 10,000 steps campaign to get Flemish people moving
The Flemish government is breathing new life into its 10,000 steps campaign to get people in the region moving after a recent survey found that a ...
‘No scientific basis’ for giving everyone third dose, vaccine expert says
The head of Belgium's Vaccination Taskforce has argued that there is not enough scientific evidence to support the Flemish government's decision to ...
Brussels bars linked to alleged sexual assault vouch to improve women’s safety
The management of the two bars in Ixelles, which made headlines in recent days after several young women reported that they had been drugged then ...