Farmers, meanwhile, warned that the trend of higher food prices was set to continue.
At the opening of International Green Week – a major food, agriculture and horticulture fair in Berlin – the Federal Statistics Office (Destatis) announced that grocery prices averaged 1.6 percent more in 2010 than they did the previous year. This was greater than the 1.1 percent rise in consumer prices across the board.
The price of butter rose a whopping 23.7 percent, fruit rose 5.2 percent and vegetables 6.3 percent. The cost of fish rose 3.6 percent.
And consumers can expect price rises to continue. The head of the German Farmers’ Federation (DBV), Gerd Sonnleitner, anticipated a price rise of 2 percent in the coming year.
“Our costs for energy, for fertilizer, for equipment have risen enormously. We need these price increases,” Sonnleitner told broadcaster ARD on Thursday.
Regardless of the dioxin contamination scandal that has lately gripped the farming industry, the era of cheap groceries was over, he said.
Food prices have been climbing for years. With a 13 percent increase since 2005, they have risen clearly faster than the general rise in consumer goods of 8.2 percent over the same period.
Some food items were cheaper in 2010 than the previous year. Confectionery, for instance, fell in price by 1 percent. Sugar was 11.6 percent cheaper.
Bread and cereal were stable in price, falling by 0.3 percent. The cost of meat and meat goods, along with dairy and eggs, each rose by 0.4 percent.
The overall price hike hit particularly strongly at the end of the year. Groceries cost 3.6 percent more in December 2010 than they did the previous December.