Price of Christmas lunch jumps 14%

Updated on 10 December 2012 | 5 Comments

The cost of a Christmas lunch, including all the trimmings, is now 14% more expensive than it was five years ago.

A basket of Christmas goods, including all the trimmings such as peanuts, mince pies, cranberry sauce and satsumas has risen by 14.3% since 2008, according to research from The Grocer.

This means nearly everything you eat on Christmas Day will cost substantially more than it did five years ago because of huge hikes in the price of food and drink.

Brussels sprouts for example cost 69.4% more now, with a 1kg bag comes in at £2.10 compared to £1.24 in 2008.

The price of a frozen turkey is also up, now costing an average of £17.00, a rise from £14.89, while a box of Cadbury Roses is now 39.2% more expensive.

Rising food prices

Starting with the peanuts and ending with Christmas pudding with an after-dinner sherry, the price of almost everything we have around Christmas has soared in the past five years.

A 300g bag of KP Peanuts for example is now 71.4% more expensive, while Anchor butter is up 63.6% and the price of potatoes has risen 40.2%.

But some food prices have fallen, such as garden peas and parsnips falling by 10.5% and 19% respectively.

The price of a Christmas lunch in 2008 and today


Price 2012

Price 2008

Five-year difference

KP Peanuts (dry roasted, 300g)




Brussel sprouts (own label, 1kg)




Anchor butter (250g)




Potatoes (own label white, 2.5kg)




Cadbury Roses (tin, 850g)




Bisto gravy granules (170g)




Smoked salmon (own label 100g)




Satsumas (own label pack)




Blue Stilton cheese (own label premium, 215g)




Christmas pudding (own label, 100g)




Frozen turkey (5-6kg)




Carrots  (own label, loose, 1kg)




Mince pies (own label, six pack)




Garden peas (own label, 1kg)




Parsnips (own label, 1kg)




When it comes to alcohol the biggest price rise is in Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry – up 64% - while a bottle of Champagne has fallen in price and is now 9.8% cheaper.

However, the good news is the overall increase in the price of the food and drink is slightly below the increase in the retail prices index (RPI) of inflation for the same period at 15.4%.

The price of Christmas drinks in 2008 and today


Price 2012

Price 2008

Five-year difference

Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry (750ml)




Coca-cola (500ml)




Hardy's Stamp wine (Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon, 750ml)




Baileys Irish Cream (original, 700ml)




Taylor’s port (large bottle, 750ml)




Stella Artois lager (cans, four x 440ml)




Champagne (cheapest bottle, 750ml)




John Smith’s Extra Smooth (cans, four x 440ml)




The cheapest Christmas lunch

When looking at a selective basket of goods, The Grocer found Asda to be the cheapest supermarket to get your Christmas lunch ingredients. This is the fourth time in a row it’s won the spot and 32 items came in at £111.42.

This price was 13% lower than the next two cheapest prices which came from Morrisons and Tesco.

But in our own test, we found when looking at a selective basket of 11 items (excluding alcohol), Morrisons came in cheapest with a bill of £19.95 or £2.49 a head for eight people.

How to cut the cost of Christmas

There is little we can do about rising food costs, but you can still save money if you’re prepared to shop around before buying your Christmas lunch.

You could just cut out certain expensive items, such as brussel sprouts or KP peanuts, or you can use a tool such as MySupermarket to find out which supermarket offers the cheapest price for each item you buy. The website also has an app you can use when you’re in the shop.

Being creative with dishes, using up leftovers and trying out new recipes will also help cut costs at Christmas and our sister site, Lovefood, is stacked full of festive recipes to try.

More on Christmas:

Get free Christmas cards, gifts, music, animations and more!

Twelve good, cheap Christmas gift ideas

Ways to spread the cost of Christmas

Top 10 cheap and free Christmas activities for kids!

The best Secret Santa gifts


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