Britons choosing to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III on Saturday with a typical supermarket quiche will find it costs 21% more than a year ago.
The Royal Family has designated a quiche made from spinach, fava beans and tarragon as the event’s official dish. The recipe includes eggs, cream and cheddar cheese.
“Eat hot or cold with a green salad and boiled new potatoes, perfect for a Coronation Big Lunch,” the Royal website says.
Supermarket quiches may have shot up in price, but they’re still likely to be far cheaper than making the Royal recipe at home: cheddar costs 42% more than this time last year, while egg prices are up 32% and cream 15%, according to new analysis from the Office of National Statistics published Wednesday.
Plus, as some people have been swift to point out on Twitter, parts of the UK have experienced an egg shortage in recent weeks.
Many of the country’s supermarkets are marketing their own range of ready-made quiches for the coronation. Marks and Spencer is selling a cheese and onion quiche for £3.70 ($4.62) as part of its range of party food for the event. A classic Quiche Lorraine, which contains bacon and cheddar cheese, costs £2.50 ($3.12) at Tesco (TSCDF), the country’s biggest supermarket chain.
Still, quiche from a store is just one of a number of items that are outpacing the painful rise in British food prices, according to the ONS analysis.
The price of a typical bottle of olive oil rose 49% in the year to March, while cucumbers were up 52% over the same period. Average annual food price inflation was more than 19% that month.
Some of the country’s best-loved dishes have become much more expensive. The cost of an average takeout of fish-and-chips soared 19% in the year to March — the biggest increase in a basket of fast-food meals surveyed. The ONS calculated that the cost of a homemade classic roast chicken dinner for four people also rose 24% over that period.
The statistics office, which calculated average price rises across a range of goods and services, including restaurant meals and daycare fees, said that 95% of the items studied had risen in price in the year to March.
Food price crisis
UK taxpayers will pay tens of millions of pounds towards the cost of the King’s coronation, according to estimates published by British media. But, for many Britons, including fans of the royals, the expense feels particularly galling while millions of people struggle to make ends meet as prices rise.
Inflation in the UK has rocketed over the past year to stand above 10% in March, down slightly from the month prior, but still far higher than in the United States and Europe.
Food price rises show no signs of pulling back. They were rising at their fastest rate in more than 45 years in March as high input and labor costs have hurt domestic producers, and as a weaker pound has made imports more expensive.
The strain has pushed record numbers of people toward the UK’s legions of food banks providing free groceries as wages have failed to keep pace with inflation.
The Trussell Trust, which distributes groceries to about 1,200 food banks, said last week that its network had handed out nearly 3 million emergency food parcels in the year to the end of March.
That’s a record for a single year, and a 37% rise on the previous 12-month period.
“We are experiencing an unprecedented rise in the number of people coming to the food bank, particularly employed people who are no longer able to balance a low income against rising living costs,” Brian Thomas, chief executive at South Tyneside Foodbank, located in England’s northeast, said in a statement.