Which foods are expensive – and which are not

While grain, potatoes, and cabbage suffered from the heat of summer, the wine rejoiced. What other foods consumers have to look at: An overview.

Thanksgiving in the Frankfurt Palmengarten

Dhe farmers have had an extremely dry and hot summer and are reporting considerable harvest losses, especially for grain. The potatoes have suffered too. The wine, on the other hand, enjoyed the sun. This has an impact on the range of food on offer – and sometimes also on the price.

Potatoes and potato products

In Germany, the potato is considered to be the “prime fruit”, as the industry association BOGK emphasizes. According to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, potato farmers expect harvest losses of 25 percent this year. Since the main harvest is still in progress and there has hardly been any rain recently, the balance sheet could be even worse. “Potatoes will definitely be more expensive,” predicted the BOGK in the summer.

This also applies to processed products such as chips, french fries and potato pockets, for which particularly large tubers are often required. The association is assuming price increases based on the percentage of crop failures. It is also not that easy to import: France, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium also have lower harvests.

Milk and meat

There is also a threat of higher prices for milk. The Federal Association of German Dairy Farmers expects financial bottlenecks because many farmers have to buy additional feed. An increase in the milk price by ten cents per liter “would have helped us a bit,” says association spokesman Hans Foldenauer. For an average consumer who drinks a little milk every day, that is a price increase of just three euros a month.

By this Friday, the producer prices for milk had risen to around 35 to 36 cents per liter, after moving between 30 and 32 cents per liter in the first half of the year. “For most farms this should cover the costs,” says Albert Hortmann-Scholten, milk market expert at the Lower Saxony Chamber of Agriculture. However, it is not yet clear whether the milk in the supermarket will also become more expensive. Because the negotiations between dairies and food retailers are still to come.

When it comes to meat prices, farmers expect little movement. It is true that animals are currently being slaughtered a little earlier than planned if they do not give milk, says Foldenauer. However, this does not happen “on a large scale” and concerns, for example, beef cattle and young cattle.

fruit and vegetables

The weather has no impact on processed fruit and vegetable products such as jam, ketchup, canned fruit and soups, explains the BOGK. Because the raw material for this is frozen or sourced fresh from countries such as Italy, Poland, Serbia and Romania and, in the case of tomatoes, from China. It also looks good with local pickling cucumbers.

The situation is different with autumn vegetables, especially cabbage. According to BOGK, the harvest of red, white and kale is at least 25 percent below expectations, in some regions a decrease of 50 percent is expected – the heads are also smaller. For carrots, beetroot and celery, the harvest minus is at least ten percent. Retailers and restaurants would have to adjust to “that deliveries have to be canceled without replacement”. Consumers could feel the consequences of the drought “on the empty shelf in the trade”, explains the BOGK.


The wine, on the other hand, benefited from the warmth. The winemakers were not only happy about the “earliest Federweisser” they ever had, said Ernst Büscher from the German Wine Institute. The main harvest also started earlier and promises a record result: the winemakers are assuming an increase of 23 percent compared to the ten-year average.

Even for experts, the harvest was unexpectedly high. Older vines reached up to 15 meters into the ground and come close to water reserves that other crops cannot. That’s why they withstood the drought. The wine is therefore not cheaper – but it is also not more expensive and also “fruity, brightly colored and full-bodied”.