On Sunday evening with fries in front of the TV becomes an expensive joke: why the prices in the snack bar are rising

The costs for products are skyrocketing, according to a study by Statistics Netherlands. Compared to last year, prices in the industry have increased by almost 22 percent. This is also noticeable in the snack bar, where the entire process has become a lot more expensive.

The corona pandemic, a shortage of sea containers, war in Ukraine: major events in the past 2 years that have caused a lot of uncertainty among entrepreneurs. This uncertainty is certainly also present among snack bar owners. Almost every cost item incurs for the cafeteria.

‘A potato is not yet fries’

Frans van Rooij is director of ProFri, the trade association for professional fryers: “The snack bar in the middle of a residential area in particular is part of a difficult package.”

“Normally, they have to rely on Friday evening and Sunday, but during the week the deep fryer has to be switched on. In addition, a potato is not yet fries.”

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From potatoes to fries: in every step of that process, costs are now rising sharply. Potato grower Leon Kranenburg from Nieuw-Vennep also notices this.

“The price increases of fertilizer, fuel and crop protection products have been going on for years,” he says. “Labour, machines, it’s all getting more expensive.”

Price of potatoes

According to the potato farmer, it is inevitable that he will eventually raise the sales price. It is not so easy to simply pass on these rising costs to buyers because of the fierce competition. The main customers are large chains that can command a low price.

“I can’t do much else, except avoid risks. The price of the potatoes is still stable in itself, but then it is stable below the cost price. And then the export market is also under heavy pressure at the moment. But everything is normal. more expensive, so those prices just have to go up.”


Prices in the snack bar

Prices in the snack bar have already risen in recent years. It is not yet possible to say exactly how much more that will be. It might be about 30 to 40 cents. This is a random indication of prices now:

Village in Groningen
French fries with: 2.60
Croquette: 1.60

Breda residential area
French fries with: 3.05
Croquette: 2.40

Amsterdam city center
French fries with: 4.50
Croquette: 2.75

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One of those buyers of the potato grower from Nieuw-Vennep is John van der Kroon from Zwanenburg. The costs for the potato trader are also increasing: “We buy from farmers and we sell the fries. We currently deliver to 150 chip shops throughout the Netherlands. That is our business.”

“It starts with the farmer, who has expensive pesticides, fertilizer and diesel. But I myself also have enormously increased costs for transport. I have a few trucks and vans. I now spend 1000 euros a week more on diesel than a few months ago.”

More expensive bowl of fries

Van der Kroon also thinks that a price increase for consumers is ultimately inevitable. “In terms of price, this is no longer sustainable, not even for the chip shops. We have a customer who goes from 22,000 euros to 42,000 euros in gas per year.”

“If it continues like this, the fries will go up by 30 or 40 cents. That is about 10 to 15 percent more expensive for a tray. The consumer has to pay for this. Unfortunately.”

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sunflower oil

For the snack bar owner, the costs are indeed skyrocketing. Cafeteria owners Richard and Sharon Biesma opened a brand new cafeteria in the center of Hoofddorp just before the outbreak of the corona pandemic. The company also supplies to restaurants. Richard and Sharon cut the potatoes fresh in the shop.

“We bake in sunflower oil,” they say. “There is an alternative for that. The customer is used to this preparation method, so it hurts that we now have to change that after 9 years. Gas prices are also rising. So yes, in order to continue to exist, it will have to be passed on after all. become.”

Snacks and mayonnaise

The high costs are not only in gas and oil, but in almost all costs that have to be incurred, such as for purchasing from wholesalers. For example, the price of a large quantity of mayonnaise has risen because the bucket, an oil-containing product, has become more expensive.

“The costs for snacks have also increased,” says Richard Biesma. “Our own costs are really going up. We hold our breath.”

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Expensive fries

According to the chip shop trade association, price increases are indeed inevitable. “I do hear stories about successful businesses that barely make it,” says Van Rooij of ProFri. “We mainly see an accumulation of energy bills.”

“I hear stories about bills that have risen from 1200 euros to 4000 euros per month. We really need to get rid of gas. Plan the campaign. A single cafeteria in a residential area is already throwing up prices or limiting opening hours to the busy hours.”

Cheaper than eating out

Precisely because many snack bars have a regular clientele in the area, it is difficult to raise prices. “An evening of fries with the family is known as an affordable meal. Owners therefore sometimes find it difficult to raise the price. You have to communicate about that.”

Potato trader Van der Kroon expects the Dutchman to continue to buy fries at the snack bar for the time being. “The Dutch mainly look at the prices, of course. If you pay 3 euros or 3.50 per chip, you will lose about 14 euros for a family of four. If you go to a restaurant, you already have an appetizer of 14 euros and then the rest still have to eat, so fries will still exist.”

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