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‘Lunchflation’: New trend affecting Aussies as prices increase

Australians have already been paying more at the petrol station and supermarket, but now those rising costs are impacting their lunch boxes.

Technology business Square has collected data from restaurants and cafes across the country, declaring that a “lunchflation” trend has emerged among popular meals.

The average price of sushi has jumped 27 per cent year over the year, while kebabs are 15 per cent more expensive than last year.

Eating sushi is now 27 per cent more expensive.
Camera IconEating sushi is now 27 per cent more expensive. Credit: Supplied

Looking squarely at Australia’s major cities, the average price of sandwiches and burgers are up by 28 and 14 per cent respectively.

Square Australia head of business development Colin Birney said several issues were responsible.

“Supply chain issues are definitely a contributing factor here; Omicron definitely. We’ve seen floods in northern NSW and Queensland affect the supply of goods as well,” Mr Birney said.

“What we’re seeing with ‘lunchflation’ is indicative of some broader challenges that are happening in the external environment.”

While the average price of salads and sandwiches is down from last year, they still cost 9 and 6 per cent more respectively than they did in March 2020.

At their peak over the last two years, sandwiches and salads were 29 and 20 per cent more expensive respectively.

The price of sandwiches and salads have fluctuated over the last two years. Leigh Griffiths
Camera IconThe price of sandwiches and salads have fluctuated over the last two years. Leigh Griffiths Credit: News Corp Australia

“Those items particularly have seen the most fluctuation over that two-year period,” Mr Birney said.

“It was interesting to look at sandwiches and salads and to see the extent to which they drastically increased in that first year and then tapered off.”

While many Australians are struggling with the cost of living right now with the Covid pandemic and crisis in Ukraine, Mr Birney encouraged people to still support their local restaurants and cafes where they could.

“Certainly with the price increases that’s probably driven some people to be a little more mindful about their lunch options,” he said.

Parramatta Hotspots
Camera IconConsumers are encouraged to support their local businesses after a tough two years. Richard Dobson Credit: News Corp Australia

“But we certainly think that small businesses deserve the support if we can provide it given the hard times they’ve gone through over the last couple of years.”

Mr Birney said “it’s a little bit challenging to look forward” on whether prices continue to go up or start to fall but was “hopeful it isn’t going to be a long-term trend”.

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