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Cheer cheese selling for $17 at Aussie supermarkets amid cost of living increases

A pack of 36 slices of cheese was recently seen on the shelves of an Australian supermarket for $17 – as families buckle under cost of living pressures ahead of Christmas.

The 750gram family pack of Cheer cheese slices was advertised with a $17.55 price tag as seen in a photo shared by former Seven News presenter Jacqui Felgate.

‘Is this how much cheese costs now?’ she wrote.

While it’s unclear where the slices were sold, Coles recently sold the same pack of the Cheer dairy product for $17.55 in November.

Its website now shows the product has gone down to $14.00.

The 750gram family pack of Cheer cheese slices was advertised with a $17.55 price tag as seen in a photo shared by former Seven News presenter Jacqui Felgate

Woolworths also sells the Cheer 36-slice pack for $14.00, while Aldi doesn’t stock it.

Many of Ms Felgate’s fans said they’d seen the prices of dairy products skyrocket in recent months, while others pointed out the struggles farmers were facing.

One shopper said they saw a 625gram Devondale Tasty cheese block for $11.

‘Dairy farm is a diminishing industry as most farmers love their animals but we’re never paid a decent milk price,’ one said.

‘Our grocery bill has gone up by at least 30 per cent in 2 years. That’s not fancy things either. It’s tiring having to re-budget constantly,’ commented another.

‘And this is why no one can afford life anymore, interest rate rises, groceries are a joke,’ said a third.

Cheer cheese, formerly known as Coon, suffered a major drop in sales after its rebrand with 75 workers being let go in November.

In July 2021, the then 90-year-old Australian Coon cheese brand changed its name to Cheer after a campaign saying the old name was racist, as the word ‘coon’ is a slur against people of colour.

Cheer cheese owner Saputo has always maintained the cheese was named after American cheesemaker Edward Coon. 

In July 2021, the then 90-year-old Australian Coon cheese brand changed its name to Cheer after a campaign saying the old name was racist, as the word 'coon' is a slur against people of colour

In July 2021, the then 90-year-old Australian Coon cheese brand changed its name to Cheer after a campaign saying the old name was racist, as the word ‘coon’ is a slur against people of colour

It is not known if the change of name from Coon to Cheer played any role in falling sales of the cheese, or if it was more a case of increasing prices causing consumers to switch to cheaper products.

Its chief operating officer Leanne Cutts said it was a ‘very difficult decision’ to let go the staff.

‘Today’s announcement continues our journey towards long-term success for our business in Australia by increasing our efficiency and productivity, and making our business more competitive,’ she said.

‘Site management will work closely with affected employees at the three impacted sites to discuss redeployment and retraining opportunities.

‘Where alternative roles are not available, these employees will be provided with severance and outplacement support.’

Australians are feeling the pinch in the rise in the cost of living as supermarket prices climb

Australians are feeling the pinch in the rise in the cost of living as supermarket prices climb

Meanwhile about three quarters of Australian families doing it tough are now fearing they won’t be able to afford Christmas presents for their kids, according to a recent survey from the Salvation Army.

The charity’s Major Bruce Harmer said 77 per cent of those surveyed said they would struggle to afford enough food for the holiday this year. 

‘We are deeply concerned to hear about the agonising choices every-day Australians are making, such as deciding whether to pay an electricity bill or buy a Christmas present for their child,’ he told Nine News.

More than 82 per cent were concerned they wouldn’t be able to afford gifts come December 25.

‘Others are choosing to go without food and medication to ensure their children have food on the table,’ Major Harmer said.

‘The guilt and emotional toll of not being able to provide the basics for their family is the real but often hidden cost of financial hardship.’

It comes after Metcash, Australia’s largest wholesale food distributor, warned food costs jumped by 8.8 per cent in November alone. 

It comes after Metcash, Australia's largest wholesale food distributor, warned food costs jumped by 8.8 per cent in November alone

It comes after Metcash, Australia’s largest wholesale food distributor, warned food costs jumped by 8.8 per cent in November alone

The wholesaler, which supplies products to supermarkets including IGA and Foodland, reported an 8.2 per cent rise in sales in the first half of the 2022/2023 financial year as net profits fell by 2.4 per cent – which the company attributes to rising costs. 

The inflation report revealed wholesale prices of food grew rapidly from 4.9 per cent in the first quarter to 7.4 per cent in the second.

In October, prices rose by 8.4 per cent, which then accelerated by 8.8 per cent the following month.

The figures reported by Metcash do not include the wholesale prices of tobacco and fresh produce.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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