Edition 2021

Foto omschrijving: Elderly man using a supermarket scanner

How much have food prices gone up?

On average, food pricesnoot1 in shops rose by 18 percent between 2010 and 2020. This is slightly more than the average price increase of all goods and services bought by consumers (17 percent). Butter, eggs and milk saw the biggest price increases. However, ice cream and confectionery were cheaper in 2020 than in 2010.

How much have food prices gone up?Eggs+46.8%Butter+65.8%+43.0%
Other cereal productsIce cream-7.7%Candy-4.1%-11.2%

The Netherlands Nutrition Centre has dividednoot2 the product categories of food and beverages, as used by CBS for the consumer price index, into healthier and unhealthier variants. The prices of healthier foodstuffs have risen by an average of 21 percent in a span of ten years. At nearly 15 percent, the price increase of unhealthier products was less significant. In the last two years, however, the prices of unhealthier foodstuffs have risen slightly more on an annual basis than healthier choices.

Consumer price developments, 2010-2020 (% change)
Categorie Price increase
All goods and services 17.4
Foodstuffs (excl. beverages) 18.4
of which .
Healthier foods 21.1
Unhealthier foods 14.7

Ice cream and confectionary cheaper in ten-year period

Not all foodstuffs have become more expensive in the past ten years. For example, ice cream and confectionary were even cheaper than in 2010. Prices of sugar and sauces rose slightly, but by less than the average food price increase (18 percent). The price of butter rose sharply by 66 percent, and the price of smoked, dried or salted meat (such as deli meats) also rose more than average.

Healthier products: strongest increase in eggs and milk

Of the healthier products, eggs in particular have become more expensive: the average retail price in 2020 was almost 47 percent higher than in 2010. Fresh semi-skimmed and skimmed milk became 43 percent more expensive over a decade. Not all healthier products increased more in price than unhealthier options. For example, some cereal products such as mixtures of baked goods and starch became cheaper, while other healthier products increased in price only slightly.

Price increase of fresh vegetables relatively low, that of fruit relatively high

The price of fresh vegetables has risen much less than the price of fruit in ten years, namely by 6 percent. Preserved vegetables became 12 percent more expensive. The price of fresh and chilled fruit rose by 26 percent in ten years, while that of dried fruit and nuts increased by 29 percent. The price increase for conserved fruit was smaller (16 percent).

Healthier drinks also up in price

Healthier drinks have become 21 percent more expensive in ten years, unhealthier drinks 17 percent more expensive. Tap water, which is not counted as food, was 4.1 percent more expensive in 2020 than in 2010.

Price development of beverages, 2010-2020 (% change)
Productgroep Price change 2010-2020
Healthier drinks 21.4
of which .
Mineral or spring water 37.5
Coffee 22.7
Tea 9.7
Unhealthier drinks 17.3
of which .
Soft drinks 30.2
Fruit and vegetable juices 17.2
Wine 14.1
Spirits 14
Beer 13.1

The questions


Prices of foodstuffs

Price development of food products, including dairy products. Non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks are not included.

Classification of healthier and unhealthier foods and drinks

For the CBS consumer price index, food and beverages are classified according to ECOICOP (European Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose). The Netherlands Nutrition Centre has indicated for each category whether it is a healthier or unhealthier option. Healthier products are included in the ‘Schijf van Vijf’ (the food guide pyramid of the Netherlands Nutrition Centre), such as vegetables, fruit and (low-fat and semi-skimmed) dairy. Product groups that are not in the food guide pyramid are categorised under unhealthy products, such as confectionary, sauces and snacks. Product groups that contain both healthier and unhealthier products and for which no categorisation could be made have been placed under healthier products because a healthy choice from this group is possible. Bread, for example, has been included under the healthier products because it is possible to make a healthier choice for brown and wholemeal varieties, for example.


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Explanation of symbols

Empty cell figure not applicable
. figure is unknown, insufficiently reliable or confidential
* provisional figure
** revised provisional figure
(between two numbers) inclusive
0 (0.0) less than half of unit concerned
2016–2017 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/2017 average for the years 2016 up to and including 2017
2016/’17 crop year, financial year, school year etc., beginning in 2016 and ending in 2017
2004/’05–2016/’17 crop year etc. 2004/’05 up to and including 2016/’17

Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond to the sum of the separate figures.

About CBS

CBS responds to developments in Dutch society by providing statistical information as facts that matter, and communicates on these facts with the outside world. In doing so, CBS offers insights into current developments in society and helps answer policy questions. Research at CBS is focused on broad trends in society and how these are interrelated.

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Concept & image editor

Irene van Kuik


Janneke Hendriks

Richard Jollie

Hendrik Zuidhoek


Ronald van der Bie

Annelie Hakkenes-Tuinman

Michel van Kooten

Sidney Vergouw

Paul de Winden

Karolien van Wijk

Gert Jan Wijma


Frans Dinnissen

Gaby de Vet

Taalcentrum VU

Final editor

Elma Wobma

We thank all CBS colleagues who have contributed to this edition of The Netherlands in numbers.