Size of Summer Price Increases at Ice Cream Parlors & Beach Buffets in Hungary Revealed

  • 21 May 2024 5:17 AM
  • Hungary Today
Size of Summer Price Increases at Ice Cream Parlors & Beach Buffets in Hungary Revealed
As the sunny, warm weather arrives, ice cream parlors are opening across the country, and beaches come to life, welcoming visitors one after the other during May and June.

A recent analysis by Oeconomus shows that like last year, prices for ice cream and other buffet food are expected to rise in the high season, mainly due to labor shortages and higher prices for some ingredients.

While most parlors are trying to ensure that their prices do not cross the threshold, finding this level is not easy, given its subjective level, which varies from customer to customer.

Although the price of ice cream in Hungary is forecast to rise by 10-15 percent this year, internationally, when looking at popular European beaches, ice cream in Hungary cannot be considered that expensive, with prices last year reaching the level of the cheapest places in Europe.

While the typical price in 2023 was HUF 440-520 per scoop (1 EUR = 386 HUF), this summer it will rise to HUF 500-600 per scoop.

This 10-15 percent increase is the same amount as last year. However, in more popular places, the price of a scoop of ice cream is expected to be around HUF 600-650.

The sharp rise in ice cream prices is largely explained by the fact that average gross earnings in February this year were 14 percent higher than a year earlier.

Furthermore, while food prices were expected to fall on average globally from the second half of 2022, sugar is still likely to see a significant increase in price in the Hungarian market. In addition, there has been a dramatic increase in cocoa prices globally, which is also creating a difficult situation for ice cream sellers.

What is good news is that there is no shrinkage in the weight of a scoop (“shrinkflation”). In addition, ice cream lovers visiting Hungary can also be pleased that domestic ice cream prices are among the cheapest compared to prices on 75 European beaches.

The Turkish beach Amasra Plajı had the lowest price for ice cream in 2023, with a scoop of ice cream costing just GBP 0.1 (HUF 44). By contrast, French beaches were among the most expensive, with a scoop of ice cream costing up to HUF 1,800.

One of the unmissable dishes at Balaton beach buffets is lángos (Hungarian deep fried flatbread). A year ago, the price of a plain lángos was over HUF 900, but in 2024, it will certainly be over HUF 1,000. That is roughly an increase of 8-10 percent.

The price increase may also be surprising, because the average consumer price of the ingredients used to make scones has fallen dramatically in April this year compared to a year ago.

Flour has fallen by almost 20 percent, sour cream by the same amount, cheese by almost 10 percent, milk by 9 percent, and cooking oil by 2 percent.

The analysis also compares the prices of other classic buffet meals in a graph showing the changes over the last four years:

The price of sausages has risen from HUF 1,930 to HUF 3,070 (per kilogram).
A kilogram of carp steak has risen from HUF 2,220 to HUF 4,310.
A hamburger went from HUF 674 to HUF 1,640.
French fries were HUF 533, now HUF 1,050 (per kilogram).

Photo: courtesy of Artigiana Gelati in Budapest


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