The price of Trappist cheese has received a lot of attention in recent weeks, because Hungarian families consume a lot of it, and according to data from the Central Statistical Office (KSH), its price has doubled in the last 12-14 months.
The price of 1 kilogram block cheese measured by KSH exceeded HUF 2,000 in October 2021, HUF 3,000 in the summer of 2022, and peaked at HUF 4,650 in January 2023. In February, this moderated slightly.
Our newspaper was curious to know how much the turnover of the latter dropped after the prices of many cheeses in the retail sector – including own-brand gouda and edami products – became lower than those of Trappista.
We started from the emphatically subjective assessment that Trappist is not competitive with the above products either in terms of taste or quality, so Hungarians would not necessarily choose it even if the prices were equal.
Most companies treat cheese sales data as business secrets, but they revealed a few details to our question.
For example, Aldi – which was the first to announce that it would reduce the price of Trappists – said that 80 percent of its range is own-brand products, and this is also true for cheeses. The turnover – in line with the decline in retail trade – has decreased, and many of their customers are now faced with the fact that they can get certain products 20-30 percent cheaper if they choose brands that are not available elsewhere.
In the case of cheeses, the purchasing prices started to fall due to the accumulation of stocks in Hungary and the drop in the price of raw milk, and this was also seen in the case of cheeses.
The company has already announced that it is
- 1 kg of Tolle Trappista cheese will be almost 21% cheaper, it will be 3790 forints instead of 4790 forints
- The price of the own brand Kokárdás Trappista cheese is reduced by more than 23% and costs HUF 2,990 instead of HUF 3,890.
- The price of the 700-gram Milfina Trappista cheese has dropped by more than 21%, so it costs HUF 2,599 instead of HUF 3,299. The lactose-free version of the same cheese will be almost 21% cheaper: instead of HUF 3,790, you have to pay HUF 2,999.
- The price of 400-gram Milfina Darabolt cheeses has been reduced by 20%, from HUF 1,999 to HUF 1,599.
Lidl also confirmed that, although Trappist cheeses continue to enjoy unbroken popularity among Hungarian customers, at the same time, consumers are increasingly opening up to other cheeses, such as Edam or Gouda.
Like Aldi, they have reduced the price of more popular cheeses
- The Pilos own-brand 250-gram Edam sliced cheese will cost 25% less, so it will cost HUF 749 instead of HUF 999.
- The 1 kilogram Pilos Trappist cheese will be cheaper by 23%, HUF 900, so it will be available at a price of HUF 2,990, while the 700g Pilos Trappist cheese will cost 21%, i.e. HUF 800 less, so you have to pay HUF 2,999 for it.
- In the case of the lactose-free 700g Pilos Trappist cheese, the price reduction is also 21%, so the price is HUF 2,999.
At Tesco, they found that
the traffic growth of Trappist has slowed down in the last six months, but there is no sign of a big shift towards own-brand products.
The change in volume is almost exactly the same as the average for the entire cheese category.
At Tesco, for example
- the price of Tolle Trappist in a 1 kg package is HUF 4,959
- this is HUF 4,700 (6,713 HUF/kg) in a 700-gram package
- and the own-brand trappista is sold at HUF 3,889 per kilogram.
Narrowing down the issue not only to Trappist cheese at the chain, it can already be stated that more and more people are choosing the lower-priced own-brand products, the sales of which are visibly increasing month by month.
Food inflation of more than 43 percent can be seen in the retail turnover, the turnover in grocery stores fell by 6.7 percent compared to a year earlier.
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