food and fuel prices South Africa

Photo: Pixabay

Bread, booze and tobacco: South African food prices from 2008 vs 2018

A new report shows that the cost of luxury and basic foodstuff and consumer goods increased way beyond inflation from 2008 to 2018. If you’ve been looking at your bank statements, you’re probably not surprised.

food and fuel prices South Africa

Photo: Pixabay

We don’t need to tell you, inflation has been having us. Between the petrol price hikes, VAT increase and the dodgy exchange rates, our pockets are notably lighter.

But what have you ever wondered by how much the cost of stuff has gone up? Wonder no more.

Broll has put together its quarterly retail snapshot report and included a comparison of the cost of some goodies to ten years ago.

If the increases weren’t enough, the report also notes that salary increases have slipped behind inflation.

Broll said:

An investigation was undertaken whereby salaries of lawyers, accountants, engineers, teachers, administrative and personal assistants in 2018 were compared against earnings in 2008. It was found that real salaries rose at an average of 4.9% per annum, but when adjusted for inflation, salaries should have grown by 6.7% per annum for people to earn the equivalent, in terms of buying power, of what they earned in 2008.

Their report also noted:

The petrol price, although competitive on a global scale, saw a July increase that set a record hitting R16.02/litre for 95 unleaded. When compared to prices in 2008, petrol now costs 49.7% more. This not only impacts the cost of transport but has spin-off costs in all related industries and particularly food.

And then there’s the fact that in some cases, the stuff we’re buying is notably smaller. It’s pretty grim.

Note: The price listed as “inflation”, is what the item should cost to be in line with inflation. A full explanation can be found below the list.

Food prices in South African in 2008 vs 2018

Milk (1l long-life)

Photo: Pixabay

2008: R8.46

2018: R13.99

Inflation: R14.16

T-bone steak per kg

South African food prices from 2008 vs 2018 steak
Photo: Pixabay

 2008: R56.02

2018: R109.96

Inflation: R93.78

Yes, we’re aware that’s not a t-bone in the picture. Don’t write in.

White bread

Photo: Pixabay

 2008: R5.89

2018: R13.49

Inflation: R9.86

 Gouda cheese (per kg)

Photo: Pixabay

 2008: R71.73

2018: R119.90

Inflation: R120.08

 750ml Sunflower oil

 2008: R12.70

2018: R29.99

Inflation: R21.26

 Bottle of red wine

 2008: R36.42

2018: R60.00

Inflation: R60.97

 Nobody tell them about Tassies being on sale for under R30 at Makro right now.

 Broccoli per kg

Photo: Pixabay

 2008: R20.26

2018: R39.99

Inflation: R33.92

 So if you’re looking for a reason not to eat your veggies, here it is.

White sugar (2.5kg)

 2008: R14.79

2018: R29.90

Inflation: R24.76


Photo: Pixabay

2008: R7.93

2018: R14.99

Inflation: R13.27 

Also worth noting that in 2008, chocolate slabs weighed 100g. They’re now a mere 80g. 

Cigarettes (20)

Photo: Pixabay

 2008: R20.13

2018: R45.35

Inflation: R33.70 

Coffee (250g instant) 

South African food prices from 2008 vs 2018 coffee

2008: R13.89

2018: R36.99

Inflation: R23.25 

And we’re not even talking about the posh stuff like in the picture. 

Beer (six pack) 

Photo: Pixabay

2008: R28.87

2018: R59.99

Inflation: R48.33 

In 2008 Beer was sold in 340ml cans, in 2018 they are 330ml cans.

The reason for the drastic rise

About the cost of food price increases, the report noted:

When looking at the cost of food compared to a decade ago, it is evident that most products have risen well above the inflation  rate, with an average increase of 93.4% for the same basket of goods. White bread has increased from R5.89 in 2008 to R13.49 in current prices. However when looking at the rate of inflation and adjusting the prices accordingly, white bread should only cost R9.86. That is a 36.8% difference. When considering inflation, the only products that work out slightly cheaper are milk and wine. So why are so many products more expensive than the rate of inflation? The answer is not a simple one as varying factors
play a role in determining the cost of goods. However, aspects which majorly contribute to these price changes include the likes of electricity and fuel prices, both of which have increased well above the inflation rate, in addition to climate conditions such as 2008 the recent drought across the country.