Inflation takes meat, milk and oil from the Brazilian supermarket cart
The inflation of more than 12% accumulated in the last year has forced consumers to stop buying even the most basic products, according to a survey by the market intelligence company Horus. Items such as beef, long-life milk and oil are less present in supermarket carts compared to April last year. In the same period, there was also an increase in the average price of these products.
From the analysis of 35 million invoices throughout Brazil, Horus found that, last month, milk was present in 14.2% of the carts. In April 2021, this incidence was 1.7 percentage points higher, from 15.9%. In the same period, the average price of a liter went from R$ 4.29 to R$ 7.25 – an increase of almost 69% in one year, according to the survey.
The scenario is similar for oil and beef: the presence of the former in supermarket carts increased from 7.1% to 6% in one year; of the second, from 5.9% to 5.3%. At the same time, the average value of a liter of oil went from R$9.60 to R$16.81 (+75.1%), while the kilo of meat jumped from R$29.66 to R$31.47 (+6.1%). (See all numbers below)
“Inflation is very diffuse, very spread out in products. It is becoming a difficult situation for the consumer, because it is reaching those more basic products. It’s all too expensive,” he told the UOL Luiza Zacharias, director of New Business at Horus.
- Incidence on carts (Apr/21 – Apr/22)
Long life milk: 15.9% – 14.2%
Cooking oil: 7.1% – 6%
Beef: 5.9% – 5.3%
- Average price per liter or kilo (Apr/21 – Apr/22)
Long life milk: BRL 4.29 – BRL 7.25
Cooking oil: BRL 9.60 – BRL 16.81
Beef: BRL 29.66 – BRL 31.47
Fewer products x stock
Luiza Zacharias also explains that the general rise in prices has created an “almost paradoxical” situation: while the poorest families are buying fewer products, those with more resources have preferred to stock up, purchasing certain items in large quantities and at once, to protect itself from inflation.
This is the case for beans and olive oil: the average incidence of these items is lower now than in April 2021, but the number of goods purchased has increased. This scenario “suggests fewer carts with products, but in larger quantities, for supply”, according to the Horus research. (See all numbers below)
“Those who have very little money reduce the quantity and frequency of consumption of some items, because their income is not the same as it was a year ago. At the same time, families that have a slightly better condition returned to make that purchase of the month that they used to make, to escape a little inflation”, analyzes the specialist.
- Incidence on carts (Apr/21 – Apr/22)
Beans: 4.7% – 4.6%
Olive oil: 1.9% – 1.4%
- Average number of items purchased (Apr/21 – Apr/22)
Beans: 2.1 – 2.2
Olive oil: 1.2 – 1.3
Families with more resources are starting to look for more economical packaging, with larger quantities, to protect themselves from rising prices, because they don’t know if they will be able to buy the same amount of things in a month.
Luiza Zacharias, from Horus
most expensive basic basket
A survey carried out by UOL last week it had already shown how inflation is strongly affecting products considered primary, such as those that make up the basic food basket.
Potatoes were the item that increased the most between March and April, jumping 18.28% in the period, according to the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics). The tomato, which was once the villain of inflation, also had a strong rise: 10.18%.
The price of long-life milk rose 10.31% between March and April — the second highest rise among the products that make up the basic basket. Powdered milk was also more expensive, but with a much smaller variation, 1.6%.
Bananas became cheaper last month, according to the IBGE. The drops vary from 2.37%, in the case of water bananas, to 8.46% for apple bananas. Only the plantain registered an increase (3.96%).