Cost of living For Members

Inflation: Which foods are now more expensive in Switzerland?

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected]
Inflation: Which foods are now more expensive in Switzerland?
The price of margarine has increased substantially. Image by Henry from Pixabay

One of the most frequent topics in Switzerland in the past year has been how much the cost of living, and in particular prices of common foods, has increased — some far more than others.


Since the war in Ukraine has started almost exactly a year ago, on February 24th, 2022, prices of various consumer goods and services have gone up in Switzerland, and elsewhere.

The biggest hike has been in energy sector, with electricity prices in Switzerland increasing at the beginning of this year by a hefty 20 to 60 percent, depending on the place of residence.

READ MORE : Which Swiss cantons will see the biggest hikes in electricity bills?

Consequently, the cost of food and beverages has gone up as well.

While many people may not understand how the war in Ukraine, or more expensive energy for that matter, can influence the price of consumer products, they are all interconnected.


Ukraine is one of the world’s largest grain producers, but the war has curtailed the country’s capacity to export, with serious consequences for global food supply.

That explains why the price of grain-dependent foods like breads (see below) and other baked goods has soared.

And as the price of grain-based animal feed — for instance, for chickens — is higher too, it is only logical that the price of eggs experiences an upward trend as well.

Also, with more expensive energy, transport of raw materials across borders, or even within the country, has also become more expensive, with the higher price passed on to consumers.

Generally speaking, since the start of war in Ukraine, price of food and non-alcoholic beverages has  increased by 5.6 percent, according to the national consumer price index of the Federal Statistical Office.

Which food prices have gone up the most in the past months?

Watson news platform has analysed prices of various common foods, concluding that these have gone up the most: 

  • Margarine and edible fats 27.4 percent
  • Rice 17.7 percent
  • Sugar 15.6 percent
  • Butter 12.3 percent
  • Bread 10.9 percent
  • Olive oil 10.4 percent
  • Eggs 10.1 percent

However, there is some good news as well: the price of some foods is now actually lower than before, Watson reports.

For instance, pork is now 1.5 percent less expensive; chocolate and cocoa dropped by 1.9 percent; frozen veggies by 2.5 percent; and fresh berries by 6 percent.


What about non-food products?

By far the biggest hike — nearly 70 percent — has hit wood pellets, followed by gas (68.5 percent). The latter is used to produce electrical power, which explains the huge increase in price of electricity in 2023.

A lesser (though still substantial) hike can be seen in heating oil (37.8 percent), as well as in airline fares (33.8 percent) — in other words, services that rely on energy sources.

However, airlines may also have had other reasons to raise their prices.
“The costs of kerosene make up a large portion of the ticket price," according to Ralf Beyeler, finance expert at Moneyland consumer platform, "But it is also possible that airlines are trying to raise their margins. After the difficult years of the coronavirus crisis, they are likely trying to earn more money again.”

READ MORE: Cost of living: The things in Switzerland that are getting more and more expensive 


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