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Mince pinch: Why your burgers are about to get more expensive


Experts point to another cost-of-living challenge in your weekly supermarket bill.

Rising grocery prices have been a very unwelcome feature of 2022 for most of us.

The next one to keep an eye on? That humble pantry staple, mince.

Supermarkets like to boast that mince is one of their cheapest meat options.

The latest Woolworths catalogue has 500 grams of 3-star Australian beef mince for $7, down from $8 last month.

The same effective price of $14 a kilogram applies at Coles, which also cut the price in July.

ALDI is marginally cheaper, at $13 a kilogram this week, but you can't buy it in 500-gram packages.

Advertisements from Coles and Woolworths for mince

Woolworths' and Coles standard mince prices come in at $14 a kilogram. Image: Supplied

The kicker? Growing overseas demand for Australian beef might cut supplies, which would drive up prices.

Australia is in the "box seat" to supply a growing demand for beef products around the world, according to Rabobank senior animal protein analyst Angus Gidley-Baird.

Declining cattle numbers in the US make that a potentially lucrative market.

The one constraint is that Australia doesn't have a highly developed system for exporting "trimmings", the cheaper meat cuts from which mince is usually produced.

"Unless we can correct this, our ability to ramp up production and capitalise on any trimmings demand growth will be limited," Gidley-Baird said.

Rabobank's Angus-Gidley Baird

Rabobank's Angus Gidley-Baird predicts that Australian beef exports will rise, which could result in higher prices locally. Image: Supplied

The price change hasn't happened just yet and supermarkets generally lock in supply contracts for long periods.

That said, it's definitely one to keep an eye on.

Globally, beef prices have risen up to 11% compared to the same time last year, Rabobank analysis shows.

Mince on a board

Mince is traditionally a cheaper alternative, but that status is under pressure. Image: Getty Images

If you have freezer space, stocking up on some cheap mince now might be wise.

To avoid worries about freezer burn, cook up a big batch of bolognaise sauce and freeze that in meal-sized portions.

Supermarket bills have proven a big challenge for Australians this year.

Grocery bills are the biggest source of financial stress for Australians, according to Finder's latest Consumer Sentiment Tracker data.

Almost 37% of us cite supermarket bills as our top source of stress, followed by rent/mortgage (34%) and petrol (31%).

Struggling with the cost of living? Check out tips from our expert masterclass on how to deal with rising inflation and get more from your money.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more.

Pictures: Getty Images/Supplied

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