Why Are We So Obsessed with the Price of Freddo Bars?

Words: Shamim de Brún
Images: Instagram/TikTok

Freddo bars are 40c now. F-O-R-T-Y. Long gone are the days of stalling it to your local shop with your post-mass pocket money and emerging with enough sugar to fuel you for an entire week.

The world around us is changing. We’re living in Ireland; a country where a packet of Tayto is creeping towards landing at Magnum prices. And we’re all just forced to accept it. That’s all without even mentioning Freddo’s prices.


Ancient mysteries explained: The rising price of the Freddo bar #fyp

♬ original sound – Narcissistic spirit guide

Naturally, the Freddo frenzy has sparked some severe debates among the masses. If you have been on the internet since the Cost of Living Crisis began, you have undoubtedly seen the Freddo discourse. Social media platforms are ablaze with conspiracy theories that rival the global fascination with Area 51. Between Garron’s TikTok, multiple Instagram posts, tweets out the wazoo and Reddit threads galore, we have been obsessed with the changing price of Freddo bars more than any other chocolate.

Some claim it’s a sinister plot to distract us from the real issues. Climate catastrophe, homelessness, the housing crisis. Confectionary capitalism must be stopped! Others suggest it’s an elaborate marketing strategy designed to keep us hooked on outrage and Freddo bars. But why can’t we shut up about the cheapest chocolate bar’s ever-changing price?


Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: The Freddo Bar Toastie. Should I do it with the plain Freddo next? #freddobar #chocolatetoastie #toastie #panini #sandwichtiktok #nasti2k #xyzbca

♬ original sound – Nasti

The grá for Freddos goes way back. Especially if you didn’t grow up affluent. It was always the bar you could rely on when you were broke. If you grew up slightly poorer than your friends, at least Freddo was always there so you could get something when everyone played “d’ ya wanna go shop”.

These days Freddo is almost as expensive as a classic Dairy Milk was back in the day. It no longer provides the secure knowledge that everyone can have a chocolate if they need one. As Garron says, Freddo’s (along with CFR, breakfast rolls, and sausage rolls) are no longer for the ‘common man’.

The Freddo price saga is as gripping as a daytime soap opera. We all feel personally offended every time the price goes up. Now with a world of public forums in our pockets, we can blast that outrage out into the world and engage with our local community or devout following. But what’s more fascinating than the outrage is that Freddo bars are used as an economic benchmark.

Freddo price fluctuations have become indicators of economic issues. While the price of a chocolate frog may not carry the same financial weight as GDP growth, the Freddo Index is a unique way of indirectly measuring inflation rates and the rising cost of living. Like the lipstick index, the Freddo index shows inflation and price gouging in an honest, tangible and easily understandable way.

In 2000 the Irish minimum wage was €5.58 (£4.40) per hour (p/h), so at 2000 prices, you could buy 72 5p Freddos with one hour of wages.

In 2016, the Irish minimum wage increased from €8.65 to €9.15 per hour. However, with Freddo prices rising to about 25c in 2017, you could only buy 36 of them with one hour’s wage.

Today the minimum wage is €11.60, and Freddo’s are 40c, meaning you can only get 29 of them with an hour’s pay.

We absolutely love talking about it because it tells us a lot about a person. How socially conscious they are, how good their taste in food or drink was, and how happy their childhood was. All of this can be gleaned from a simple Freddo chat. It’s a conversation starter at family dinners and a bonding point among coworkers. We can bond with strangers over it. It makes first dates much less awkward. Just ask anyone, “So, how do you feel about the changing price of Freddo bars?” and you will be able to talk to that person for quite a while. It’s a litmus test that reveals more than any personality quiz ever could.

Examples like Freddo bars are crucially important for the world because they help us put into words complex economic structures. People can always feel the pinch of inflation so having an index that people can engage and relate to no matter their level of education is paramount. Everyone can’t be an economist, but everyone needs to understand fundamental economics.

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