Cost of making pizza in Italy rises as olive oil price surges

Total amount spent to cook the dish increased 18.4 per cent in May from a year earlier

A consumer advocate group has called for a national boycott of pasta to press Italy's government to act against higher food prices. AP
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The cost of making a classic Pizza Margherita rose more than twice as fast as overall inflation in Italy last month, driven by the surging price of olive oil and mozzarella cheese.

The total amount spent on ingredients and energy to cook the quintessential Naples dish rose 18.4 per cent in May from a year earlier, according to Bloomberg calculations based on Istat and Economy Ministry data.

The monthly gauge continues to far outstrip the overall inflation rate, which stood at 8 per cent last month. Still, the pace of price increases eased from April and compares with a November peak of more than 30 per cent.

The cost of buying a prepared pizza rose only 7.7 per cent year-on-year, increasing the appeal of going out to eat.

Bloomberg’s Pizza index crunches data on flour, tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil and the electricity consumption needed to power an oven. The biggest month-on-month increase was for tomatoes, which were 7.5 per cent more expensive than in April. Energy was the only item that fell, down 1.4 per cent.

The cost of pasta also rose again in May, according to Istat data. Consumer advocate group Assoutenti has called for a national pasta boycott from June 22 after the government in Rome decided not to act to counter higher prices at a meeting last month.

Updated: June 18, 2023, 4:30 AM