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Cost of groceries soars at Woolworths and Coles

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New analysis has shown a “shocking” rise in some grocery products with claims the cost of living has skyrocketed.

Some groceries at Australia’s major supermarkets have risen up to a whopping 94 per cent in the past year, new data has revealed.

Consumer network One Big Switch compared the price of every product on the shelves right now at Coles and Woolworths to one year ago and found the worst categories for rises included meat, pantry items and drinks.

Overall, drinks rose the most with a massive price increase of 7.7 per cent, following by fruit and vegetables, and pantry staples, which went up 5 per cent on average.

One Big Switch said some individual products revealed “shocking price inflation” and it has called for a review into the cost of living.

It showed the cost of Fanta was up an incredible 94 per cent at Coles, while a two litre bottle of Coke rose by 55 per cent across both major supermarkets.

The Kirks pack of 10 cans were up by 70 per cent and Nescafe & Moccona instant coffee rose between 50-74 per cent, according to Frugl Grocery data.

When it came to meat, diced beef soared by 22 per cent in cost and basic beef mince rose by 14 per cent.

The prices of pantry staples such as oils went up by 19 per cent, branded canned fruit jumped by 17 per cent and baked beans and tinned spaghetti rose by 21 per cent.

There’s no relief in sight either with a chilling warning issued that Aussies face soaring prices and empty supermarket shelves more frequently due to extreme weather events brought on by climate change wreaking havoc with food supply.

One Big Switch said the new analysis was evidence that official cost of living data, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, doesn’t tell the whole story about inflation and how it is affecting the price of every day items.

According to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) — the best-known indicator of inflation and cost of living — the cost paid by households for a fixed basket of goods and services, food and non-alcoholic beverages only rose by 1.9 per cent over the year to December 2021.

Yet according to One Big Switch’s analysis, the average increase in prices has been 2.5 per cent at Coles and Woolworths.

The government data also reported housing costs rose by just 4 per cent last year but it does not include the cost of buying property or regional rents, which rose across Australia by 22 per cent and 12 per cent respectively.

It also showed that education costs rose 0.6 per cent last year, despite the Education Department predicting a 4.1 per cent annual increase in daycare fees for the next four years, One Big Switch said.

The CPI is arguably the single most influential measurement of the rising cost of living for governments, banks, businesses and other policymakers, said One Big Switch, determining everything from increases in wages and Centrelink payments to interest rates.

“The official inflation rate of 3.5 per cent in December didn’t pass the pub test for millions of Australians and this data helps to explain why,” said Joel Gibson from One Big Switch.

“We’re taxing the poor. If you buy a lot of soft drinks, baked beans and beef mince, you rent in regional Australia and use daycare, your cost of living has skyrocketed.”

It has launched a new campaign calling for a review of the CPI to reveal the true cost of living.

Recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics also revealed that people’s pay increased by 2.3 per cent annually overall, meaning the cost of goods is eating up any extra pay.

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