Flipping inflation: cost of pancakes rising, says Central Statistics Office

The ideal pancake might be flat, but the cost of making them is not, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has revealed.

The prices paid by consumers for the ingredients needed to make a basic pancake rose 3 per cent last year, or by a bitter 6.4 per cent for those who add a sprinkling of sugar on top, according to the statistical agency.

Its analysis, whisked together ahead of next week’s Pancake Tuesday, found that the only basic pancake ingredient to have fallen in price in 2023 was full fat milk, with a 2 litre carton dropping from €2.26 to €2.18.

The price of a half-dozen large eggs increased more than 2 per cent from €2.16 to €2.21 over the course of the 12 months. This egg inflation was just the thin end of the lemon wedge, however.

The cost of a 2kg bag of white, self-raising flour – which would generate an industrial quantity of pancakes, to be fair – rose 10 per cent from €2.39 to €2.62.

And pancake fans who need to replenish their store of sugar will find that the cost of a 1kg bag of the white granulated variety has surged 24 per cent from €1.51 to €1.88.

The spoonful of Nutella is extra, sadly.

The CSO’s figures are based on the basket of goods and services it tracks to compile the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation.

As the overall rate of inflation last year was a sticky 4.6 per cent – with the cost of food swelling 5.2 per cent – makers of sugarless pancakes do not rank among those most battered by rising prices.

Alas, the average price of lemons or lemon juice is not included in the CPI basket of goods.

Pancake aficionados will further observe that the CSO has quoted the price of granulated sugar, rather than the caster kind usually recommended in this situation.

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Its ingredients also list self-raising flour, rather than the plain flour that would produce a delicate thin crepe. Most recipes for the fluffy American style typically include an additional raising agent such as baking powder.

Finally, the analysis excludes the butter that sizzles as it melts in the hot pan and should then be poured off before the batter is poured in – the good news here is that butter prices crepe-d lower in 2023.

More of a St Valentine’s Day regular than somebody who gives a toss about pancakes? The CSO has another mood-killing update.

People shelling out for chocolates ahead of this year’s St Valentine’s/Ash Wednesday double-header will find that prices have gone up 9 per cent over the past year, it calculates, putting its findings on the cost of pancakes into sweet perspective.


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