Clean Monday, heralding the commencement of the fasting period preceding Greek Orthodox Easter, looms ahead, accompanied by a spike in prices for Lenten products, placing an additional burden on consumers compared to last year.

Of note, prices for some traditional Clean Monday staples have surged by more than 60%, while bakeries are yet to finalize the selling price for the customary Clean Monday bread, lagana.

Examining the prices of quintessential Lenten foods like halva, shrimps, and squids, reveals a substantial hike between 2023 and 2024. Cocoa halva is notably 61.17% pricier this year, with vanilla halva following suit at a 46.19% increase. Frozen shrimps witnessed a notable uptick of 49.9%, while packaged squid saw a 15.51% rise in prices. Frozen Pacific whelks registered a 24.9% increase, whereas frozen red mullet experienced a staggering 67.23% surge compared to the previous year.

In response to this price surge, the government is taking action by introducing the “Lenten basket” in supermarkets. Starting from Wednesday, March 13, the “Lenten basket” will be available, offering halva, fasting salads and frozen seafood as alternatives to help consumers navigate these challenging times.