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Grocery shock as Aussie staples doubling in price revealed. Expert's tip on when they will ease

But a retail expert says relief could be in sight for households as signs indicate inflation has peaked.

Rising grocery prices are just one of the factors pushing the cost of living up for Australians and new data has revealed which have doubled in the last three years, plus when they should ease.

While factors including inflation, higher costs and supply chain issues have created a pressure cooker of financial strife for shoppers, severe weather events led to further hikes.

New data from Compare the Market, which tracks the cost of everyday essentials, revealed olive oil, mixed vegetables, potatoes, peppermint tea and even toilet cleaner had soared in price, while breakfast cereal, pet food, coffee, deli meats and cheese also cost more at the checkout.

Paul Zahra, CEO of the Australian Retailers Association, told Yahoo Finance: "Increases in grocery prices are driven by a number of factors. Firstly, global supply chain disruptions have played a major role. Secondly, we've seen a rise in the cost of raw materials.

Grocery composite image showing tasty cheese, Huggies nappies, McCain frozen vegetables, olive oil and cat food.
Grocery prices have doubled in some cases, putting extra pressure on Australians when they head to the supermarket. (Source: Yahoo Finance)

"For products like olive oil, this can be due to environmental factors affecting crop yields. Additionally, increased labour costs and energy prices have also contributed to this upward trend. These factors combined have unavoidably impacted retail prices."

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According to the data, a 750ml bottle of Monini Classico Extra Virgin Olive Oil has doubled in price to $24 – compared to $12 in 2021 – after fires and drought damaged harvests in the Mediterranean for a second year running, causing a European shortage of the pantry staple.

A 500g bag of McCain Mixed Vegetables Peas Corn and Carrot increased 53.85 per cent from $2.60 to $4, a 4kg of Australian brush potatoes jumped 52.54 per cent from $5.90 to $9, and a Bref Power active toilet block cleaner pack went from $5 to $7 – or 40 per cent.

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Buying a decent cheddar will also set you back these days, with a 500g slab of Bega Tasty Cheese going for $10.50 – an increase of 31.25 per cent.

Mums and dads have been hit hard, paying $22 for a 48-pack of Huggies Infant Nappies – up from $18 in 2021, while pet parents were not spared, forking out $7 for 450g of beef salmon and cheese flavour Fancy Feast adult cat food, a 32.08 per cent hike.

Price increases 'unfortunate necessity for businesses'

Zahra said the price increases may be unavoidable.

"As the cost-of-doing business continues to increase, price increases are an unfortunate necessity for businesses to remain sustainable," Zahra told Yahoo Finance.

Front of a Woolworths store (left). Deli section in a Coles store (right).
A retail expert says relief at the supermarket checkout could be in sight as signs suggest inflation has peaked. Source: Getty

He said it was "difficult to predict" if prices would continue to rise but said there was some good news for consumers.

"Fortunately, all signs indicate inflation has peaked and will only continue to moderate from here on out, providing some relief to households," the retail expert said.

Zahra said while there had been price increases, it was important to note that not all costs were rising.

"With less disposable income, consumers are prioritising essential goods, leading to reduced demand for non-essential items and subsequent price drops in those sectors," he told Yahoo.

"Retailers are also hosting more frequent sales events with significant discounts to attract price-sensitive consumers affected by the cost-of-living crisis."

Compare the Market’s Chris Ford said with skyrocketing energy bill costs, pain at the petrol bowser and increasing insurance premiums, "the last thing we want is for Australians to be forking out more than they need on everyday items".

He said supermarkets, farmers and companies’ costs had all increased so it was time for Aussies to take back control and pay as little as possible for grocery essentials.

How to save money on grocery shop

Check catalogues for discounts, substitute a brand-named item for a generic one or split your shop across multiple stores to make bigger savings.

Use reward cards and "boost" within the apps to maximise the points or rewards you can earn.

Check out insurance policies, energy plans and mobile deals as you could be entitled to hidden rewards and discounts by earning points you can redeem in-store.

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