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Inflation: Monegasque retailers forced to raise prices

maison-des-pates
Paul Charoy / Monaco Tribune

Like their French neighbours, Monegasque retailers have been confronted with inflation for several months. Monaco Tribune went to see them. 

It is after 1pm. The staff at the Maison des Pâtes are busy in the middle of the Condamine market’s hubbub. The restaurant, which is known for its delicious fresh pasta, still has many customers lining up, despite a recent price increase. For manager Ornella, flour is the main root cause. It’s price has gone up by about 35%”.

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So, of course, that has an impact on the menu. Dishes that cost €8.50 have increased to €9, the €9.70 dishes have gone up to €10 and the €10.70 dishes now cost €11… An increase for the consumer of between 5 and 10%.

3 euros to 3.50 euros for a scoop of ice cream

Same verdict at Santo Gelato, a famous artisanal ice cream parlour located on the Place d’Armes. “In addition to milk, pistachios and hazelnuts, all our products that use flour have been impacted. That means our cones, our biscuits, our biscuit-based iced products, and our iced panettone, which is a flagship Christmas item for us”, says manager Sofia Stampfl. “We have seen a 35% increase in costs for the panettone, but we aren’t passing the same percentage increase on to our customers. To give you an example, the small one has gone up from 18 to 20 euros.”

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In 2021, ice cream fans would pay 3 euros for a scoop. Since February, it’s 3.50 euros. “We could have raised our prices again during the summer, but we didn’t. We prefer to reduce our profit margins because we understand that life is becoming expensive for everyone”, the manager continues.

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Understanding customers

On the whole, customers are quite understanding. “Honestly, few people have mentioned the increase in our prices,” according to the Maison des Pâtes. “This could be because our prices were very low to start with.” The establishment’s aim is to maintain portion sizes and the quality of pasta that has made the brand famous for several decades.

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As for ice cream, “it’s still an affordable treat,” say the staff at Santo Gelato.

lepidor-boulangerie
Epi d’Or bakery © Monaco Tribune / Paul Charoy

Also in the heart of the Condamine district, we dropped by the Épi d’Or. In this elegant bakery, where the smell of good bread and the beauty of the pastries whet your appetite, a few extra centimes have been needed at the cash register for the past few weeks. “Prices have risen by an average of 10%,” says Andrea Pani.

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According to the assistant manager of the Épi d’Or,this increase is due primarily to the significant rise in the price of raw materials such as flour, butter, milk or coffee,” but also to the big increase in the price of packaging. “Generally speaking, customers understand our price changes, but elderly people can get annoyed, especially when they come in with the right change for the old price, for example.”  The store’s baguettes went up from 1.30 euros to 1.50 euros (+15%) at the beginning of October.

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