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Christmas feast getting more expensive

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Cypriots will be digging deeper into their pockets this Christmas for the festive table, as costs have risen by more than 12% compared to last year’s holiday season, according to the Cyprus Consumers’ Association.

The association’s head Marios Drousiotis told the Cyprus News Agency that compared to last year’s prices, the “lavish” table (for four) is €21 more expensive, while the “budget” table is about €6 more expensive.

The association conducted an extensive survey from December 8 to 20 to estimate the anticipated costs of Christmas feasts for families in Nicosia.

The survey encompassed three distinct categories: a ‘lavish’ table consisting of 35 items, a ‘budget’ table comprising 19 items, and a table tailored for lower-income families, featuring 11 items.

As per the survey findings, a sumptuous Christmas spread with 35 products for a family of four is estimated to amount to €187, while a family of six can anticipate a total cost of €271. The ‘budget’ table, incorporating 19 out of the 35 items, is projected to cost €102 for a family of four and €132 for a family of six.

The total cost of a table for lower-income families, including 11 items, is €25 for a family of four and €38 for a family of six.

The breakdown of products for the ‘lavish’ table includes an array such as bread, gingerbread, quesadillas, Christmas cake, chicken, turkey, minced beef, minced pork, steaks, lamb, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, bundle greens, clementines, oranges, apples, wine, beer, zivania, and soft drinks.

Extra cost

An additional 5% was factored into the overall cost, covering spices, lemons, water, tissues, electricity, and gas.

The ‘economical’ table comprises 18 items, including bread, gingerbread, Christmas cake, chicken, turkey, ground pork, pork, lamb (per kilo), tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, bundle greens, imported apples, oranges, wine, beer, and soft drinks.

Similar to the ‘lavish’ table, an extra 5% was added for supplementary items.

For lower-income households, the survey calculated the cost of 11 items, encompassing bread, honeycombs, chicken, pork, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, bundle greens, oranges, beer, and soft drinks.

Again, an additional 5% was incorporated into the total cost, encompassing various essentials.

Throughout the survey period, which spanned the four largest supermarkets and three smaller supermarkets in Nicosia, notable price fluctuations were recorded for specific products.

Tomatoes saw an increase of up to 40 cents, beer rose by €1.21, lamb increased by €1, minced beef rose by €0.61, zivania increased by €1.40, and wine recorded a €1.70 increase.

Conversely, the most substantial decreases were observed for turkey (-€1.21 euros) and Cypriot apples (-€1.79 euros).

The survey anticipates potential variations in vegetable prices leading up to Christmas, although no significant variation is expected.

The cost comparison across the three categories — ‘lavish,’ budget,’ and ‘lower income’ — provides valuable insights into how families with lower incomes will have to navigate their financial constraints.