The cost of the cheapest Christmas dinner has risen by 18% from last year, consumer research has shown, with some experts pointing to Brexit for rising food prices.
Good Housekeeping calculated the cheapest set-piece Christmas dinner for eight people, using 11 items and shopping around to get the best deal, would now cost £2.94 a head, up from £2.48 in 2016.
It is the biggest increase since the magazine started its Christmas dinner price index in 2009 and the most expensive it has ever been.
The sharp increase is partly due to the fall in the pound’s value since the vote to leave the EU last June, Good Housekeeping said.
Caroline Bloor, Good Housekeeping’s consumer director, told The Guardian: “There’s been a significant rise in food prices across the board over the last year as a result of the weakening of the pound following the Brexit vote.
“Add to this inflation being stuck at a five-year high, and it’s no surprise to see the Christmas grocery bill has increased too.”
The index’s figure is based on buying the cheapest of each of the 11 ingredients - including turkey, potatoes and fresh vegetables - across 10 major supermarkets.
If a shopper does this, they can buy what they need for a dinner for eight, Good Housekeeping said.
The price of the cheapest dinner had been falling since 2013.
The price of the cheapest Christmas dinner:
2017: £2.94 per head
2016: £2.48 per head
2015: £2.53 per head
2014: £2.66 per head
2013: £2.73 per head
2012: £2.51 per head
2011: £2.89 per head
2010: £2.63 per head
2009: £2.78 per head
The cheapest turkey is now £8.99, up from £8 last year. The cheapest potatoes have gone from 49p to £1.49p.
The cheapest items this year, compared to last
Lidl Braemoor £8.99
Co-op Maris Piper £1.49
Sage & onion Stuffing Mix
Aldi & Lidl 34p
Asda & Morrisons 30p
M&S loose sprouts 88p
Morrisons wonky carrots 35p
M&S loose parsnips 88p
Lidl & Asda 55p
Aldi & Lidl £3.49
Aldi & Lidl £1.25
Aldi 6 pack x 2 £1.58
Lidl Favorina £1.49
Aldi & Lidl Top iced cake £3.99
In addition, the cheapest dinner from a single supermarket has risen by 16%. This year, Lidl’s £25.53 for an eight-person dinner is the cheapest, Good Housekeeping said. Last year, it was Aldi at £22.03.
Of 10 supermarkets the index sampled, only one, Marks & Spencer, is cheaper than last year.
The Office of National Statistics’ most recent data puts food and drink inflation at its highest for four years - 4.1% - higher than the Consumer Price Index rise of 3%.
In October, rising food prices were blamed for pushing inflation to a five-year high, while Bank of England governor Mark Carney said the post-Brexit fall in the pound’s value was the “sole reason” for the rise in inflation.
Brexit has already pushed the price of a bottle of wine to £5.56, it was announced in June, after it rose more in the previous 12 months than in the last two years.
In December last year, research for consumer magazine Which? showed that, nearly six months after the EU referendum, almost half the population (47%) are worried about withdrawal, up eight points since September.
Those concerned about the cost of food also climbed from 50% to 58% in the same period, according to the bi-monthly Consumer Insight Tracker online survey of around 2,000 households.