The average price of preparing a pot of beef stew rose by 17 percent in 2023, a new stew index report has said.
The report by PricePally, an online grocery store in Nigeria, showed that in 2023, the price of the pot of beef stew increased to N8,060 from N6,902.64 in 2022. A N1,157.34 increase from the previous year.
To put it in perspective, a minimum wage earner needs at least 80 percent of their salary to prepare a beef stew at least once a week throughout the month of 2022 in Lagos or Abuja. Under the same conditions, a minimum wage earner needs at least 97 percent of their salary to prepare a pot of stew in Abuja or Lagos in 2023.
This means that in 2023, you need at least 26 percent (N8,060.32) of the minimum wage to prepare a beef stew in Lagos in one cooking, while you need 24 percent (N7,279.98) of the minimum wage to cook beef stew in Abuja.
I used to spend N6,500 worth on a pot of soup – I now spend way more so I reduced the number of times I cook soup to once a week,” Temitayo Fadahunsi, a public servant in Lagos, said.
The report showed that beef has experienced a continuous increase in price since 2022.
“In January 2022, boneless beef cost N2,441.43 before rising to N2,990.37 in December 2022. It rose again to N3,311.04 in January. During the peak period of cash scarcity in March 2023, beef hit N3,861 before dropping to N3,590.97 in July,” it said.
The inaugural stew index shows the prices of beef, chicken, turkey and goat stew and a pot of these soups cost N8060, N7965, N7085, and N8227 respectively in 2023.
This means that goat meat stew is the most expensive stew for Lagosians followed by beef stew with the least expensive stew being chicken stew.
The Nigerian stew is a regular soup made of pepper, tomato, scotch bonnet pepper (ata rodo), cayenne pepper (sombo), bell pepper (tatase), and animal proteins like red meat (e.g., beef and goat meat) and white meat (chicken and turkey).
Fiscal and economic policies, climatic conditions, and instability in farming regions are constant, age-old factors affecting food security in Nigeria. The problems intensified in 2023,” authors of the report said.
They added that for the first time in three years, the store recorded the highest cost for a basket of tomatoes (50kg) in June 2023.
At N100,000, a basket of tomatoes tripled the minimum wage. Similarly, staple stew items joined the charade as agricultural products recorded unprecedented inflation.”
The federal government reforms, such as the removal of petrol subsidies and naira devaluation, implemented in the second quarter of the year, increased the cost of living for cash-strapped consumers.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the country’s inflation rate, a measure of the general price level, rose to an 18-year high of 26.72 percent in September from 25.80 percent in the previous month.
Food inflation, which constitutes 50 percent of the inflation rate, rose to 30.64 percent in September from 29.34 percent in August.
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Meat also known as beef was among the primary drivers of October inflation, “The rise in food inflation on a year-on-year basis was caused by increases in prices of oil and fat, bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, fish, fruit, meat, vegetables, milk, cheese, and eggs,” the NBS said.
The rising prices of food and other goods and services are putting a strain on consumers’ budgets and making it increasingly difficult for many to afford necessities.
The recent report SBM Intelligence revealed that Nigerians spend 97 percent of their monthly income on food as the monthly average spending on food was N105,318 compared to the monthly average income of N108,097.