Does Danish inflation mean a more costly Christmas?

While the general cost of products in Denmark increases as a result of inflation, a number of traditional Christmas items have escaped the price hike.

Denmark's signature Christmas 'flæskesteg' is, unlike many other food products, cheaper in 2021 than in 2020.
Denmark's signature Christmas 'flæskesteg' is, unlike many other food products, cheaper in 2021 than in 2020.Photo: Vibeke Toft/Ritzau Scanpix

Compared to Christmas 2020, many products are considerably more expensive. But the pork cut used to make Danish Christmas staple flæskesteg is cheaper than it was last year.

Marzipan, also a festive favourite in the country, is also slightly cheaper than it was a year ago, according to Statistics Denmark figures.

Other common Christmas ingredients such as duck and red wine are more expensive than they were 12 months ago.

Overall, a Danish Christmas dinner is likely to work out at a similar cost.

Price changes for the various ingredients are related to demand and supply according to Allan Sørensen, senior economist with the Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri, DI).

“We can see that many products, like mobile phones or bicycles, have become harder to produce and deliver,” Sørensen said.

“Others have fallen in price. This has included a large supply of pork which is why flæskesteg has become a little cheaper,” he explained.

The fall in the price of pork flies in the face of the general trend for food, which have become more expensive since last Christmas according to Danske Bank economist Louise Aggerstrøm Hansen.

READ ALSO: Why customers can expect to pay more at Danish supermarkets

Although the Danish Christmas dinner as a whole won’t burn a much bigger whole in pockets than usual, many seasonal products have undergone moderate price increases according to Hansen.

“With the very low recent prices of pigs, (pork) is expected to be even cheaper up to Christmas,” she told Ritzau in a comment.

Consumer prices in Denmark in November were 3.4 percent higher than 12 months prior on average, the biggest increase over a year since 2008.

The price index accounts for foods and various consumer goods and services ranging from electricity to airline tickets.

Potential Christmas presents like board games, toys and hobby materials are a little cheaper than in 2020, with clothes slightly pricier. Books have also become slightly cheaper.

“But book prices are very variable and statistics are very dependent on what is on the bestseller list from on month to the next,” Hansen said.

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Danish supermarket chains introduce price limits on selected products

Danish company Salling, which owns three supermarket chains, will place a limit on the price of selected products until later this year in response to inflation.

Danish supermarket chains introduce price limits on selected products

The high current prices of energy and many daily items for customers, caused by inflation, are behind Salling’s decision to introduce a price limit on some of its products, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Salling owns the Netto, Bilka and Føtex supermarket chains in Denmark. The prize freezes will apply at all three.

The limits, which will be in place until October, will be applied to “basic daily and food items”, according to Salling. Netto stores will see price limits applied to 100 products, while the larger Føtex and Bilka stores will have 200 products included.

Own-brand Salling products are likely to form the bulk of the lists, but the specific products were not named by the company.

The prices of the selected products “will not increase before October 28th despite ongoing, increasing inflation,” Salling said.

Although Salling expects inflation to continue, it said it wanted to give customers the option of preventing their spending on groceries from increasing by enabling them to choose products that have not gone up in price.

“We will make it easy for customers to navigate the products by communicationg prices clearly in our stores using signs and markings on shelves,” Salling CEO Per Bank said in the statement.

The move was described by Salling in the statement as an “investment” in light of expected higher costs at suppliers.

“It is just a year since Danes bought luxury items and flocked to supermarkets as a result of corona lockdowns and with extra holiday money in their pockets. Today, customers navigate by special offers and own brands as an alternative to name brands in Salling’s shops and stores,” the company said.

The company will announce on November 1st whether it will extend the limitation period, it said.