By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazilian breakfasts are taking bigger bites out of consumers’ wallets, as recent research conducted by the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV) for O Globo shows that prices for items that make up a typical Brazilian breakfast, or café da manhã as it is known in Portuguese, increased by 14.64 percent over the average Consumer Price Index (IPC-10) in the last year.
This comes after inflation concerns grew during last March and April when tomato prices almost tripled and at a time when the value of the Brazilian real continues to drop. Recently, the currency reached its lowest value against the U.S. dollar since March 2009.
The FGV study, which examined price changes in eleven food items typically part of a traditional breakfast, concluded eight of those eleven products showed higher-than-average increases against the Consumer Price Index (IPC-10), a calculation of the price of a package of standard goods and services in Brazil.
Pão francês (Brazilian-style French bread), ham, mortadela (a cold cut similar to bologna), cheese, eggs, margarine, butter, fruit juices, instant coffee, refined sugar and long-life milk were the Brazilian morning staples examined by the FGV.
French bread showed a 12.45 percent increase, possibly caused by the rising cost of imported wheat due to low wheat supply and the declining value of the Brazilian currency. Eggs increased 29 percent with economist and professor at PUC-RJ, Luiz Roberto Cunha, citing the rising prices of chicken feed as a possible cause, as O Globo reported. UHT milk prices grew the most with a more than thirty percent rise in the twelve months studied.
One grocery store clerk in Niterói told The Rio Times that many recent customers were outraged during check-out. In her store, long-life milk prices had increased from an average price of approximately R$2.50 last month to about R$3.50. “These prices have been going up for over a month and I tell them it’s not only this supermarket, it’s everywhere,” she said.
Relief for dairy lovers may be in sight. Economist at FGV, André Braz, told O Globo that the “rainfall tends to increase in the coming months. It will start to rain more in the pasture areas and cattle breeder won’t need to go as far to get the feed. With grazing cattle and producing milk naturally, the cost decreases.”
Among the positive results: instant coffee, which saw below average increases and sugar, whose price decreased by almost fourteen percent due to good harvests.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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