Cyprus Food/drink prices v UK food/drink prices

13 Replies

Hi All, I know there was a slightly heated debate/thread reference the cost of food and drink in Cyprus againt sthe price in the UK, well I thought I would just update the people who thought Cyprus was cheaper. We have just arrivd back to visit family over Christmas and its unbelivable how cheap food and drink is. We are in the middlands not London but we are also eating out in the sticks at some very nice places (carpets, heating, music in the toilets, ha ha ha) We have had Indian meals 3 courses for £10 and very nice. Pub food gammon, or steak or fish all with chips, peas salad and a FREE pint! £8 As for shopping, any veg you want for 49p massive sweede, pasnips, sprouts, etc etc and very good quality. Loaf of bread 45p, pork scratchings 50grm 35p and to die for. Quality beef joints £3.99 a KG (and i mean quality) Pork loin joints with crackling £2.99 a KG Back backon £5 a Kg and the list goes on. As for the freezer shops (junk food) they are undelivable, 4 chicken pies 89p, 20 sausage rolls 89p, pizzas with meat and cheese under a £1, they also have some good food like minced lamb, beef or chicken for £2.80 a kg, lamb chump chops £3.99 a Kg, Salmon slices 4 for a pound!! OK a lot of its junk but people need cheap food when they are in hard times, deffinatly a market for this style of food in Cyprus and not just for the skint ex pats but a lot of Cypriots are feeling the pinch. I had a 16oz Rump steak with "Fresh" chips, grilled tomatoes onion rings, peas and side salad for £10, mustard, horseradish sauce and a great crispy bun. My pint is averaging £3, the maximum I've paid is £3.25 for carling/fosters and the lowest has been £2.65 but I have not been in a city centre discount pub yet, update to follow. I rest my origanal case that Cyprus prices are too high and the closed shop system encourages it.

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Marie-663566 1418765575

:-)


We have Cypriot friends who tried moving to the UK 2 months ago, with guaranteed work, because they'd been told it was far cheaper to live there (they'd felt they were struggling a bit here).


They came back home to Cyprus today. They said they were horrified at how terribly expensive everything (including transport) is in the UK and that there's no way they can afford to live there.


So different people obviously have different experiences and views.


Remember, your prices are in GBP; if you convert them to euros they no longer look so attractive! For example, your GBP2.99 per kg pork joints would work out at euros 3.77 per kg and a '3pund pint' at euros 3.78.


I can see why our friends said 'no thanks'! :-).


But you're happy - so I'm pleased for you.

AndrewMoni 1418766076

Cyprus prices for UK style goods are expensive - yes - so eat like locals do and live at cheaper prices.


Remember £1 is not €1, so do not compare prices on a 1-1 basis.


I can eat out for €10-12 per person no problems here in Cyprus - although I can also spend €20 with no difficulty.


For frozen foods - remember that for most of the year the temperatures here are well above the UK's summer temperatures so the costs of running freezers is considerably higher as also are the costs of shipping the frozen foods to the island.  Hardly surprising that frozen goods are more plentiful and cheaper in the UK if you think about it!!!  maybe that is why these 'convenience' foods have not 'caught on' as you would wish.


My beer costs €2 - €2.50 a pint here.  Yes, fresh beef etc are more expensive - could be something to do with the shortage of beef cattle on the island!!


Not everything is because of the closed shop system.  Some of the dearest prices I know of can be found in establishments run by Brits importing goods from the UK to satisfy demand.  Local loutsaki is every bit as tasty as back bacon without the fat and makes super bacon butties at a similar price to back bacon UK prices (€8 per kg).


Roundabouts and swings - and there is more to life in Cyprus than continually comparing food prices to UK prices.  If it is cheaper in the UK and that means so much then you are welcome to return to the UK and enjoy the better prices.  Hope you also enjoy the taxes and rates too!!  


 

wasntme-899527 1418770455

"For frozen foods - remember that for most of the year the temperatures here are well above the UK's summer temperatures so the costs of running freezers is considerably higher as also are the costs of shipping the frozen foods to the island.  Hardly surprising that frozen goods are more plentiful and cheaper in the UK if you think about it!!!  maybe that is why these 'convenience' foods have not 'caught on' as you would wish."


Hi Andrew,


Just because something is frozen it doesn't mean you need to run a chest freezer before you qualify to buy it, I've noticed people are buying not only frozen food (pies, pizza, fish cakes etc etc) but also chilled ready meals and they are available in abundance even in small villages with a local co-op, so if you think about it the shops are paying for your freezer/fridge electric.


Its variety and availability on a budget and I don't remember saying its something I wish for, I do not buy ready meals or frozen food (I make my own sausages, bacon, pies etc etc) as a retired chef I can make something from nothing no problem, but there is a market in Cyprus for this style of food and it does not need to be imported, look in the freezer section of any Cypriot supermarket and a good 50% is produced and frozen on island, as obviously there is no closed shop of manufacturing colussion going on why is it so expensive? Why are sheftalia frozen, dry poor quality but top price, why does a pack of three frozen pizza bases made and frozen in Cyprus cost more than three finished pizzas in the uk? I just think people move to "frozen junk" food because they think its cheaper than buying the raw ingridents or they have a busy life and take the quick easy option, but they are being mugged off, prices are too high.


I also know the £ is not a € and I know you can get a large keo in the village clubs from €2 to €2.50 but I am not drinking in the WMC where beer is £1.60 I am drinking in places where you need to book a table and the comparison in Cyprus would be a down town place where they charge around €3 for a small bottle, again ripping people off.


As you say its individual choice. I have no intention of moving back to the UK but I also have no intention of buying rose tinted glasses. Variety is the spice of life and variety is only available if the price is right.


Cyprus boasts how far its come, how modern it is and what a forward thing EU state it is, put words in to action and open more large convienience shops, give more competition, encourage new business and get rid of the one hit greed mentality that has in the past few years come to the forefront.


A fair price for a fair produt and reward hard work and Cyprus would be as it used to be a much nicer place to retire.


 

AndrewMoni 1418790402

When talking about the cost of frozen foods I was meaning that the importers, wholesalers and shops all have to pay the high costs of refrigeration and cooling associated with our high temperatures - and those costs are reflected in the prices at which they retail the foods.  So yes, in the end we pay for it with higher prices even if we buy just one item for ourselves.  As for freezing sheftalia - well they are probably frozen by the retailer as a means of conservation - since once again the fresh product would go off so quickly otherwise due to the heat - so yes, they probably are dry and poor quality as a result.  The answer of course is to buy fresh rather than frozen.  This is true of all products.  Even delivering frozen products must be a nightmare for most of the year due to ingress of hot air every time the delivery vehicle stops to make a delivery and the doors are opened.  These issues just do not happen in the UK,  My beer is bought at restaurants and bars (but not nightclubs) not WMC or even village locations, and in my experience prices in Paphos area are in general for both food and drink cheaper than Limassol - so prices on the island vary by district amongst other factors.

curion 1418816699

this discussion rumbles on. if you are preoccupied with cost of living cyprus v uk there is something fundamentally wrong with !!! if you choose to live here then accept that whatever items cost that is what has to be paid. we are young retired but gave up a long time ago thinking this or that would be cheaper in the u.k. i choose to bake ,make my own sausages mince products ( mincer bought cheaper through amazon !! ) but i buy pork/meat by joint size and mince / make whatever i want. this is cheaper and healthier than the ready minced products. i agree life is here is not perfect but where is, it is certaily cheaper for the important things, municipal charges here are cheaper than the rates in u.k. lol cannot think of anything else. weather makes up for any shortfall, wish we had longer light nights. christmas cheer, writing this  daft reply is making me laugh. i wish all anglo readers/ writers a very happy christmas and a peaceful 2015.

wasntme-899527 1418818002

Hi Andrew,


I understand and agree with a lot of what you asy but belive me production, transportation , delivery and retailing of fresh and frozen food is well legislatated in the EU. The SBA bases work to UK/EU regulations and deliveries are tempreture checked and REJECTED if they outside the limits.


Spain, Italy Potugaul, South Framce, don't (ingeneral) seem o suffer the same problems, it is an attitude problem.


As for the beer I drink in the village at €2.75 (on a good day) but go to the restaurants in Eppi, Kolossi, Erimi and you can get as high as €4.50 for a big bottle, move to the Limassol Indian or fish or steak houses and your on minimum €4 and in many now only small beers starting at €3.


I would agree Paphos is cheaper than Limassol, but do they not buy raw ingredients from the smae suppliers as Limassol or do theuy have their own supply line for all the goods everyone seems to think are imported., I think the truth is they have tried holding or reducing prices to maintain volume (footfall)


Regions do have variations, I am in the north middlands, some very nice areas, York and Harrogate with excellent villages offering great fresh food . Yes some are very (credit card) expensive but the majority are fantastic value with an amazing variety (looks like I will have to wait to get back for cremated meat and cabbage salad) Ha ha ha


Well off to Leeds today for a megga Christmas shop, spot of lunch and a few pints, I guess prices are and will be what they are but as the UK have pushed prices down year on year Cyprus seems to push prices up year on year (Food and drink thread not car insurance village tax or petrol)


I just wish they had a business approach to dwindling markets, don't just bung the prices up or blame the EU, get of their butts and do something to attract returning customers and look for new business.


I can't remember the last time I had a real Meze when you sit down and just don't know whats going to arrive and that way it was cheap because it was the cheapest seasonal items they could get, now its a set salad, bought dips, and the death by cremated meat. Can't even remember the last time we had Stefardo and Afalia on the same meze or any meze of late.


Its a shame and my initial thoughts are for those who are finding times hard, the majority of the people on this site are retired or working with secure income, its those who chased the dream and due to the way Cyprus handled the dippression (Ostritch) they are struggling, cheap food and the odd treate can make a massive difference to a struggling family, you can downsize your house to save rent, you can sell your car or walk more often, you can stop drinking, you can stop smoking but you need to eat and you need to socialise.


Happy Christmas to those who won't been buying everything and I do hope they find a bargin out there.


 


 

AndrewMoni 1418821602

I'm sorry - but look at a map and measure some distances.  Spain, South France, Italy are all MUCH closer to uk than cyprus, and goods can be transported by road easily.  To come here they usually come by sea I believe - more time in refrigerated containers that need to be kept running.  Don't know how the bases get their goods or where they come from - bet some come in via Hercules though!!  


Also temperatures here for most of the year are MUCH higher than South France/Spain etc - there is just no comparison and hence my reference to storage and freezer costs on the supply chain.


 

Graham S 1418826541

As it always has been, this is a tail-chasing discussion; those who believe living costs are cheaper in the UK will never be persuaded otherwise, those who believe it's cheaper here likewise, and those who think that some things are cheaper here and others cheaper there and that your overall costs depend on how you choose to shop will remain in the middle, placidly going their way unmoved by arguments in either direction.  Merry Christmas, all.


Graham

wasntme-899527 1418857052

Hi Andrew,


The majority of food sold in Cyprus IS manufactured on island, look at the freezers??? As for the SBA bases they are fed by contractors who purchase 100% on island with A&S being one of their larger contractors. Nothing is provided by the client (by Herc) Those days are long gone.


I don't care about price v price my concern is that the local producers are greedy, they look at the price of an imported pizza, lets say €3 and then they produce an inferior product locally and just price it at €3 because thats the "market" rate, not because they have done cost assesments, overheads, profit margins etc etc its just €3 because thats what the price is???? Wake up Cyprus and start working out your production costs and GPM. 


Andrew, just think what the transport costs on a 40ft container would be if it was full of tinned food, maybe 1p per tin? If you have ever unloaded a 40ft continer stacked with food you would understand how much you can get inside, nothing arrives in Cyprus by road its all shipped on long term contracts at minimum price. This is not a factor. How much do you think arrives in he UK by road, rail and ship. Thai tuna, Chinese garlic, Dutch cheese, Cyprus potatoes, African sugar, fruit,  I can go on and on and although the distances vary the transport costs are much the same, garlic from china, v beans from Uk?


 


 

lora04 1418980995

For basic goods and services there is an article which depicts the average price for these goods so if you are familiar with costs in the UK it would be helpful to look at! The cost of living in Cyprus .


Hope it is useful!


 


Laura

AndrewMoni 1418997379

When I look in the freezers I do not see that much locally produced at all to be honest.  Most frozen goods appear to be imported from UK and Greece.  Not so true of other goods I agree.  That said I actually prefer the local frozen pizzas to the imported mass produced rubbish - worth the extra IMHO.  Same with the bread - I much prefer the local short-life bread to the cotton wool we used to call bread in the UK.  Fresh veg here is more flavourful than UK equivalents.  This leaves other goods - and to be honest the island does not enjoy the advantage of large captive market, so unit costs will indeed be higher than UK production costs.  Distribution to villages etc will be expensive due to the time taken to travel even short distances here.  But as has been said earlier - there are two sides to all these arguments, and I for one just accept theat here is, in general, better and cheaper than the UK and the quality of local fresh produce for most things is as good as, if not better, than the UK.  Not true for everything, but for most things.  Maybe one day the local population will embrace the microwave in the same way as the BBQ - and then perhaps there will be changes!!!!


 

Graham S 1419021964

Frozen pizza? Never bought one.  I make mine from scratch...........  


It may well be that processed and prepacked/pre-prepared convenience foods are cheaper in the Uk, but as we never buy any of them we wouldn't know. What I do know is that fresh local produce is both cheaper and of far better quality than anything on offer in a UK supermarket. Of course supplies vary with the season - just as they used to do in the UK when I was a kid - so you simply adjust your diet and your shopping to what's currently available and sensibly priced. I've just finished a suberbly fresh and flavourful locally grown orange, bought from a local chain greengrocer's at €1.50 for a 3Kg bag. Try buying oranges in the UK at something like 18p per pound.......

achilleas 1461643470

A ridiculous article.

You want cheap products, you get cheap processed products, but don't call it in any way quality.

This week I was at an Indian restaurant that had a set 3 course meal for €10
A pub in Famagusta area I visit gives you a free pint as well - and it's cheaper than what you mentioned.

Swede, parsnips and sprouts are not vegetables Cypriots would normally eat so why should they be available and pork scratchings is something that only an ex-pat would ask for so that has to be imported.

Quality beef at £3.99 a Kg - sorry, it does not exist - last time I was in the UK you couldn't get a decent piece of beef for under £15 a Kg from CostCo - Scottish beef.

Pork loin is the fillet - it doesn't have crackling as it is no where near the skin so what you are describing is a cheap cut.

Personally I look for bargains here in Cyprus, but at the same time I look for quality as well as I don't want to be eating processed, cheap foods all the time.

One thing that you don't realise is that Cyprus is an ISLAND! It is very cheap to transport things in Europe - you just put them on a lorry and drive them and it is REALLY cheap. You can't do that with Cyprus - it's surrounded by water and things have to be flown in (most expensive) or brought in by ship, but even then it is expensive and the economies of scale do not allow for cheap prices.

If a company was selling 500,000 pies a year then they would be able to get better prices, but they might only be selling 5,000 and then they have to bring them in by refrigerated container.

If you are going to compare, then compare like-for-like.
If you are expecting Cyprus to be "England with sun" then you are very much mistaken,
If all you want are "English style" foods, then you are going to miss out on some fantastic local cuisine.

All this is a another ex-pat slagging off Cyprus and "England is so wonderful" because they are too lazy to get off their backsides and look for bargains, enjoy the local cuisine and realise that they are not in England, the things are not the same and nor are the products.

Cyprus is not England with sun - don't treat it as such.

Oh, and I pay as low as €2 for a pint of beer - WTF are you paying £3.25 for one ??????

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