Grocery shopping: 9 foods with the biggest price hikes

Fruit and vegetable prices have climbed substantially in South Africa. Picture: Erik Scheel/Pexels

Fruit and vegetable prices have climbed substantially in South Africa. Picture: Erik Scheel/Pexels

Published Jan 30, 2024


Fruit and vegetable prices are among the fastest, and highest, growing in South Africa, not only on a year-to-year basis but also month-to-month.

In December 2023, a kilogram of oranges cost almost R4 more than it did in November, while apples went up by almost R2 a kilogram.

To put this into perspective, the price of bananas – the food item with the second highest annual inflation, behind potatoes – went up by almost R5 a kilogram in one year.

The National Agricultural Marketing Council’s (NAMC) monthly food basket price report shows these foods to have significantly jumped in price:

Monthly food price increases



– November: R20.82

– December: R24.20

Increase: R3.38 (+16.2 percent)


APPLES – 1kg

Picture: Mareefe/Pexels

– November: R21.87

– December: R23.76

Increase: R1.89 (+8.6 percent)


EGGS – 18s

Picture: Suzy Hazelwood/Pexels

– November: R63.26

– December: R68.49

Increase: R5.20 (+8.3 percent)

Annual food price increases

The report reveals these food prices to have gone up the most in one year:


Picture: Holger Langmaier/Pixabay

– December ’22: R14.45

– December ’23: R22.46

Increase: R8.01 (+55.4 percent)



Picture: Steve Buissinne/Pixabay

– December ’22: R16.98

– December ’23: R22.05

Increase: R5.07 (+29.9 percent)



Picture: Lukas/Pexels

– December ’22: R18.84

– December ’23: R24.20

Increase: R5.36 (+28.5 percent)



Picture: Pasi Mämmelä/Pixabay

– December ’22: R40.46

– December ’23: R51.87

Increase: R11.41 (+28.2 percent)


EGGS – 18s


– December ’22: R54.84

– December ’23: R68.49

Increase: R13.65 (+ 24.9 percent)



Picture: Towfiqu Barbhuiya/Pexels

– December ’22: R50.27

– December ’23: R61.64

Increase: R11.37 (+22.6 percent)



Picture: ready made/Pexels

– December ’22: R48.17

– December ’23: R58.55

Increase: R10.38 (+21.5 percent)


RICE – 2kg

Picture: Vie Studio/Pexels

– December ’22: R35.82

– December ’23: R43.19

Increase: R7,37 (+20.6 percent)


APPLES – 1kg

Picture: Maria Lindsey Content Creator/Pexels

– December ’22: R19.84

– December ’23: R23.76

Increase: R3.92 (+19.8 percent)

This basket of items would have cost you R299.67 in December 2022; a year later it cost R376.21 representing an increase of R76.54.

Food price inflation in South Africa

Annual Consumer Price Inflation was 5.1 percent in December, a light decrease from the 5.5 percent reported in November. The inflation rate for food and non-alcoholic beverages was 8.5 percent, down from nine percent the previous month. The main drivers of the current inflation for food and non-alcoholic beverages were:

– Sugar, sweet & desserts – 17.9 percent increase

– Vegetables – 17.5 percent increase

– Milk, eggs, and cheese – 14.5 percent increase

– Fruit – 11.6 percent

– Bread and cereal – 7.5 percent

– Fish – 6.9 percent

– Meat – 3.9 percent

The NAMC report says food inflation in the country is anticipated to remain stagnant in the coming months. This is driven by uncertainties around the El Niño conditions affecting sugar cane and rice production, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere, along with heightened oil prices.

“Concurrently, the South African poultry industry is still facing substantial risks due to the ongoing Avian Influenza outbreak. As of December 2023, the local price of white maize averaged R4,278/ton, representing a 6.2 percent increase from November 2023.

“Similarly, yellow maize averaged R4,071 per ton, reflecting a 4.3 percent increase from the previous month. Sunflower prices averaged R9,289/ton indicating a 2.4 percent increase from the preceding month's price.”

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