Rising Food Prices Hit Spanish Families Hard
The phrase “Do you remember when we bought this a year ago and it was cheaper?” has become commonplace among Spanish families, as they struggle to cope with record-breaking price hikes in food and non-alcoholic beverages.
According to the National Institute of Statistics, the price of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by a staggering 16.6% in Spain in February, compared to the previous year. This is the highest increase since 1994, when record-keeping began.
The rise in prices has hit families hard, with many having to cut back on certain foods or ration what they do buy. Mara, a 56-year-old caregiver, says that she used to spend €50 a week on groceries, but now spends more than €125 for the same goods.
Fresh foods such as legumes, vegetables, and fruits have seen some of the steepest increases, rising by 11.3% in the first two months of the year. The Spanish government attributes this to unfavorable weather conditions, causing less supply and an increase in international demand.
Despite measures such as a reduction in VAT for fresh products and economic aid for low-income households, prices continue to rise. The average wage has only grown by about 3%, while the cost of food has risen by 16.6%.
Carlos Martín, director of the economic cabinet of Comisiones Obreras, believes that employers are taking advantage of lower taxes to increase their profit margins.
As food prices continue to increase, Spanish families are forced to adjust their budgets and make difficult choices about what to buy and what to go without.