This Christmas, which will be a reunion for many vaccinated against Covid-19, consumers are excited. But the still difficult economic situation in the country calls for a strategy when it comes to shopping so as not to go over budget. The supper became more expensive, with typical items at the time up to 27% more expensive than last year, as is the case with whole chicken.
Among meats, food was the one with the highest price increase. The weight of beef reached 18.68%. Cod (7.98%), pork loin (6.48%) and pork ham (3.44%) also increased. The indices are the result of price monitoring carried out by the Brazilian Institute of Economics (Ibre) of the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV), throughout the country, over the last 12 months.
“The specificity of the chicken is that it is raised on a farm, which is highly dependent on corn or soy-based feed. Due to climatic problems, such as the drought that lasts more than a year and the frost last winter, the corn and soy crops were bred. And raising chickens was expensive. Oxen, on the other hand, are free-range and can graze, and swine can be washed in different ways”, explains Matheus Peçanha, an economist at Ibre FGV.
The price of beef is in retraction, after a long period of highs. The retail consultant Marco Quintarelli even adds that this increase influenced the cost of chicken.
“Many people migrated to consume chicken, as it was the second cheapest protein, right after egg. So, the increase in demand, and the fact that chicken is exported, that is, its price is dollarized, end up putting pressure on this food too,” says Quintarelli.
Eggs had a 20.05% rise in price. The category “bread of other types”, which includes French toast bread, had a readjustment of 11.12%. The little wheat produced in Brazil suffered the same impacts as the chicken feed, while the imported portion is more expensive due to the dollar, above the level of R$ 5.50 currently. Some complements to recipes and alcoholic beverages, such as olive oil (13.69%) and wine (7.77%), also increased.
“Generally, olive oil and wine have a large imported share in the market. And uncertainty factors of the pandemic and political factors took the exchange rate soaring. Thus, the internal price rises”, explains Matheus Peçanha.
The increase calculated by FGV encompasses an average between domestic and imported. In the second group, the impact can be even greater. At Cadeg, in Benfica, in the North Zone of Rio, wines that used to cost R$29.90 at the end of 2020 are now being sold for up to R$60.
“The Portuguese were the ones who increased the most. Even glass for packaging was lacking in the market during the pandemic, and everything became more expensive”, justifies Michele Sant’ana, seller of Central dos Vinhos, who, despite the more expensive prices, sees the movement in the establishment grow, compared to the end of last year.
According to experts, the retail balance should be much better at Christmas 2021.
“The flow of customers has already increased”, says Michele Sant’ana, a saleswoman at Central dos Vinhos, at Cadeg
“Prices have increased a lot, it’s true. Up to 100%, mainly for imported in general and Portuguese wines. So, some consumers want to keep spending the same as last year, and then substitute products. For example, the wine they took for granted R$59 is for R$80. So, they change the wine. But the flow of consumers has increased, comparing now to the same period last year. We expect better results.”
Expert estimates a 10% increase in the retail balance
According to Marco Quintarelli, retailers should earn about 10% more this year, compared to 2020. In the supermarket chain Mundial, the expected increase in sales reaches 30%.
“It was a very bad year. Now, people are eager to celebrate. What will happen is that they will bet on cheaper products and on a more Brazilian dinner”, he points out, confirming the impression of the saleswoman Michelle.
Economist Matheus Peçanha agrees:
“There are many factors against this expectation of improvement: many people lost income in the pandemic, many people went informally, the inflationary process is critical. But Brazilians always have their way, substitute food, invent recipes. So, even because of this tradition of waist-deep, it could end up being worth this euphoria when shopping.”
The family of retired Sérgio Carvalho, 67, did not get together last year to celebrate Christmas due to the pandemic. Now, those already vaccinated feel safer for an intimate meeting.
“As I’m retired, I didn’t lose income and I wasn’t as affected by the pandemic. Not to mention that I stopped spending a lot because of restrictions on activities during this period. So, this alleviates”, he recalls, who still went shopping in November, to avoid further price increases: “In December, prices change by up to 30%, from what I’ve seen in other years. So, I’ve already bought a good part of what I’ll need, including disposables.”
Check some prices on Cadeg
– Central dos Vinhos
Chilean Stillus red wine (750 ml) – R$ 24.90
Portuguese red wine Reguengos Alentejo (750 ml) – R$ 39.99
Morhua Cod Loin (kg) – R$ 99
Morhua Cod Chips (kg) – R$ 74.90
Shredded Port Cod (kg) – R$ 69.90
Nuts in shell (kg) – R$ 49.99.
– Northeastern Mix
Apricot (100g) – R$ 6.99
Plum without pit (100g) – R$ 5.58
Candied Pineapple (100g) – R$ 5.99
Crystallized fig (100g) – R$ 5.89
Black raisin (100g) – R$ 2.99
Brazil Nut (100g) – R$7.99
Smoked almonds (100g) – R$ 7.89.
– Wine brand
Portuguese oil Cartuxa EA Extra Virgin (500ml) – R$ 43.35.