In March 2022, the average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian khachapuri stood at 5.84 GEL, which is 0.4% higher month-on-month compared to February 2022, and 31.4% higher year-on-year compared to March 2021.
Each ingredient contributed to annual inflation in the Khachapuri Index; the prices of all of the ingredients increased: cheese rose by 27%, flour by 35%, eggs by 38%, yeast by 14%, milk by 10%, and butter by 24%. The current situation in the region, international oil prices, and global food prices are responsible for the local price increases.
The Khachapuri Index’s yearly dynamics are in line with GeoStat’s reported food category prices. According to GeoStat’s figures, prices in the food subgroup grew by 17.8% YoY. Such a notable rise in this subgroup is driven by the increase in the prices of vegetables (27% YoY), followed by bread and cereals (23%); oils and fats (17%); mineral waters, soft drinks, fruit, and vegetable juices (24%); milk, cheese, and eggs (15%); fruit and grapes (16%), etc.
While food prices significantly increase on annual basis, according to Khachapuri Index data, there is a notable monthly decline in the price of milk and milk products. In March 2022, the prices of milk and butter declined by 1% and 0.2%, respectively compared to the previous month (February 2022). This might be driven by the seasonal adjustment in the price of milk. Furthermore, the Easter effect, more specifically Great Lent (which began on March 7th) might have strengthened the downward price trend, as demand for cheese and other milk products is lower during Lent.