In September 2020, the average cost of cooking one standard portion of Imeretian khachapuri was 4.09 GEL, which is 2.8% higher month-on-month (compared to August 2020), and 11.7% higher year-on-year (compared to the same month of the previous year, September 2019).
With the milk supply shortening for seasonal reasons, Khachapuri Index prices are on the rise in all Georgian cities. The biggest monthly increase (8.2%) was observed in Telavi, followed by Kutaisi (7.0%), and then Tbilisi (5.5%). The smallest monthly increase in price was observed in Batumi (2.6%).
Moreover, the largest monthly increase (13.3%) in the price of Imeretian cheese was recorded in Telavi, the capital of Georgia’s main wine-producing region, Kakheti. This might be explained by the fact that September is a very special month for Georgia, and especially for Kakheti, as it is the time of the grape harvest (rtveli). In Kakheti, rtveli celebrations start at the end of August and continue for several weeks. It seems that, regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions, the flow of local tourists shifted from the Black Sea coast to Telavi. This led to increased demand and a corresponding increase in prices.
As the Khachapuri Index historical data shows, changes in cheese prices are first reflected in Kutaisi and Telavi and then transmitted to other cities. So, it is expected that prices will increase more in the coming months in the other parts of Georgia. Furthermore, an increasing trend in food prices is tied to the COVID-19 pandemic as well.