22 Dec, 2023 @ 18:30
1 min read

Price of grapes has surged by 227% across Spain in the last two months – but can YOU guess why?

Price of grapes has surged by 227% across Spain in the last two months - but can YOU guess why?
Image by Nikolett Emmert from Pixabay

GRAPE prices in supermarkets and hypermarkets have soared by up to 227% in the last two months, according to a survey carried out by Spain’s consumer group Facua.

A quick guess might be that there’s some profiteering going on ahead of the big grape consumption to ring in the New Year at midnight, with each ‘gong’ seeing people eating a grape.

But the reality appears to be down to the severe drought and other extreme weather which means this year’s grape harvest will be the smallest in modern history- an estimated 16.6% lower than in 2022.

Spain’s cava producing sector predicted in August that between 35% and 55% of grape harvests would be lost due to the extreme dry weather.

The grape shortage appears to have worked its way into supermarket prices but Facua believes that consumers are still being ripped off, especially over the last six weeks or so and that VAT cuts are not being passed on.

The biggest offender is Aldi, where a 500-gram package of El Mercado brand seedless grapes was on offer in October at €1.19.

In November its price leapt up to €3.19 while this month it has risen again to €3.89- meaning a hike of 227% in under two months.

In Alcampo, a 500-gram tray of seedless white grapes cost €1.79 euros in October, rising to €1.92 last month and up to €3.00 in December(a 67% increase).

In Mercadona the increase in this same period has been 56% (from €1.75 to €2.73): 56.3% at Eroski (from €1.74 to €2.72) and 53.7% at Lidl (from €1.69 in October to €2.69 in December).

At Carrefour, the same pack of grapes was at €1.84 in October, rising to €2.25 in November and reaching €2.65 in December (an increase of 44%).

Facua said that grapes, like other fruits and basic foodstuffs, currently have their VAT reduced from 4% to 0%.

It has once again asked the Ministry of Social Rights, Consumption and Agenda 2030 to open an investigation to see whether major distributors are breaking the law by applying unwarranted price rises to foods affected by the VAT reduction like in the case of grapes.

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