Woolworths Food ‘true’ price increases over the last year – and the results might surprise you

 ·24 May 2024

An analysis by BusinessTech revealed that Woolworths Food prices increased by an estimated 3.1% between May 2023 and May 2024—half South Africa’s latest food inflation.

For this analysis, we tracked the prices of 30 Woolworths Food products in multiple categories over the last year.

The products included milk, bread, fruit, prepared meals, sweets, sauces, meats, and fats.

The analysis revealed that 20 of the 30 products increased in price, six products remained the same, and four products reduced in price.

The products that saw the biggest price increases were green peppers, smoked ham and gouda rolls, and white pita bread.

The products where prices remained stable were a chocolate delight dessert, plain bagels 4-pack, Salami, bacon, and brown bread.

The only products that experienced price decreases were ham, cream cheese, butter, and bananas.

The average price increase for the basket of 28 products was 3.1%, which is well below the latest 4.7% food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation rate recorded by Stats SA.

This favourable comparison remained true when considering the year-on-year increase recorded by the Household Affordability Index conducted by the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group (PMBEJD)—albeit for April 2024.

The PMBEJD basket contains 44 core food items that South African consumers regularly buy. The index revealed that food prices in South Africa increased to R5,336.31, an increase of R312.36 (6.2%) compared to April 2023.

Stats SA also gives some evidence as to why some Woolworths products have increased more than others.

For example, the prices of eggs have continued to impact the milk, eggs & cheese category, as they are 30.7% more expensive than a year ago.

Similarly, pizza and pies, which are categorised with rice under bread and cereals, have also experienced a sharp price increase, rising by 17.5% in the 12 months up to February.

These inflationary impacts likely influenced the sticky increases in Woolworth’s bread, eggs, and cheese. However, Woolworths still kept its product price increases well below their relevant inflationary increases.

Woolworths Food has a reputation for significantly increasing prices, but this analysis debunks the myth that it is worse than other food retailers.

Woolworths Food price increases from 2023 to 2024

The table below shows the Woolworths Food price increases between May 2023 and May 2024.

Green Peppers Punnet R18.99R22.9921.1%
Smoked ham and gouda rolls 60gR34.99R39.9914.3%
White Pita Bread 6-packR42.99R48.9914.0%
Tangy mayonnaise 750gR46.99R51.9910.6%
Grated mature cheddar 250gR59.99R65.9910.0%
Angus 8 thick beef burgers 800gR129.99R119.997.7%
Avacado – 4 punnetR52.99R56.997.6%
Southern Fried Chicken 250gR89.99R95.996.7%
Chicken Nuggets 250gR79.99R84.996.3%
Free-range large eggs 18-packR79.99R84.996.3%
Salad tomatoesR32.99R34.996.1%
Mince Curry & Rice 350gR84.99R89.995.9%
Low-fat guava pear and raspberry yoghurt 6x100gR33.99R35.995.8%
Chicken broccoli 350gR87.99R92.995.7%
Sliced mushroomsR35.99R37.995.6%
English CucumberR18.99R19.995.3%
Red onions 1kgR47.99R49.994.2%
White hamburger rolls 6-packR24.99R25.994.0%
Rainbow Fruit Salad 700gR69.99R71.992.9%
Ayrshire Full Cream Fresh Milk 2LR44.99R45.992.3%
Chocolate delight dessertR39.99R39.990.0%
English muffins 4-packR29.99R29.990.0%
Plain bagels 4-packR39.99R39.990.0%
Salami sticks 400gR174.99R174.990.0%
Seeded Wholewheat Brown BreadR23.99R23.990.0%
Streaky bacon 250gR58.99R58.990.0%
Banana bulk 1.2kgR41.99R39.99-4.8%
Butro 500gR99.99R94.99-5.0%
Medium Fat plain Cream Cheese 250gR74.99R59.99-20.0%
Beech-smoked gypsy ham 250gR77.99R59.99-23.1%

Read: Why you’re paying 450% more for electricity since load shedding started

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