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Frozen turkeys set to be even pricier for Christmas 2023

Published in The Grocer

Shoppers face stumping up even more for frozen turkeys this year, with prices up as much as 20% on last year’s inflation-hit run-up to Christmas.

Price hikes of at least 10% were seen across 13 of the 21 frozen whole turkey or turkey crown lines on sale this week in the traditional big four, Aldi, Lidl and Waitrose and this time last year, found analysis of Assosia data by The Grocer.

The average year-on-year SKU price hike was 9.4%, while the average cost per kg was up by 12% to £7.51/kg.

When compared with this time two years ago, the hikes were even steeper. As many as 14 of the frozen turkey SKUs on sale both now and in October 2021 cost over 20% more, while two lines are over 30% more expensive.

The biggest year-on-year mover was a 20% jump in the price of an Aldi Specially Selected turkey crown (1.8kg). The SKU now costs £24.99, up from £19.99 this time last year – and it’s 30% more expensive when compared with mid-October 2021.

The second-biggest annual hike was for a small Oakhurst whole British turkey (4kg), also sold by Aldi. At £16.99, it’s 17.7% more expensive than a year ago and 32.4% dearer than October 2021.

However, Aldi stressed “the low starting point of our prices means any percentage increase will always look higher”.

The prices reflect stubbornly high production costs across the poultry sector. Avara Foods this week cited “significant inflationary pressure in fuel, commodities, and labour over the past two years” as it announced plans to close a factory in Gloucestershire.

However, shoppers may see better deals as Christmas approaches.

Asda announced a raft of price cuts on frozen Christmas food this week, with a 2.2kg turkey crown down 50p (or 3%) to £16.00 year on year.

And fresh turkey options, many of which have already been unveiled by retailers, have largely gone down in price.

For example, Asda is offering a small British basted turkey to pre-order for £5/kg – or £15 for a 3kg bird. This is 7.7% lower than last year, when a turkey of the same size would have cost £16.25, according to Assosia for The Grocer 33 [12 December 2022].

Tesco is offering a similar sized turkey for £5/kg, which is also 7.7% lower than last year’s price for the same product. Waitrose’s Essential small whole turkey, meanwhile, costs £20.85 for a 3kg bird this year, down 1.3% from £21.13 last year.

Morrisons, however, is more expensive than last year. A small basted whole turkey is up 9.9% to £17.82.

The price rises in turkey come as chicken continues to see inflation, with more items seeing price hikes over the past week, according to analysis of Assosia data for The Grocer’s Key Value Items tracker (below).

A whole chicken is up 24p (6%) in Aldi to £4.49 and 75p (16%) in Asda to £5.40. A whole chicken was 14% more expensive year on year in Aldi. In Sainsbury’s the price was up 15% year on year to £5.29, and in Tesco up 13% to £4.80.

Published in The Grocer, 19th October 2023

https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/eggs-and-poultry/frozen-turkeys-set-to-be-even-pricier-for-christmas-2023/684451.article