It’s a question that comes up every time someone goes to the supermarket.
And it has been asked before.
For many, mimi, a local cafe chain, is the perfect answer to the question: “How much do I spend on food?”
It has a simple answer: $0.55.
In other words, every meal costs nothing.
It’s just that when you eat it, it costs more.
That’s not the case with the most popular items in the world of frozen food.
Some of them have a cost-per-meal value that can be higher.
“We’ve got the most expensive thing that you can buy in the supermarket, which is a banana,” said Michael Glynne, chief executive of the National Farmers Federation, which represents many of the frozen food brands.
“So it costs a lot of money to get a banana to Australia.”
But in the UK, a typical bag of frozen chips costs $0, so a customer might pay a little more than $1.50.
In Australia, you could get a frozen apple for just $1, and a slice of pizza for $1 a piece.
And that’s just the fruit and veg, says Mr Glyne.
There are a number of other ingredients you need to have on the plate.
A number of the products on supermarket shelves in the US have a price tag of at least $1 or more.
But a couple of the most common items have a sticker price of between $1 and $2.
They’re labelled “slices”, which is the amount of fruit you would normally buy for $5.
In the UK and US, you might expect to pay about $3 to $5 for a slice.
And in Canada, you’d pay around $3.60 a slice, says James McBride, head of food for retail at the Canadian Association of Independent Business.
That makes the products more affordable, he says.
But in Australia, a slice is usually just $3, and it’s only when you look at the price tags on a bag of chips, that it becomes apparent what you’re paying for the product.
“In some countries, it’s much more expensive,” Mr McBride says.
The biggest difference between the US and UK is that the UK has a more robust food safety system.
“The UK has strict rules and regulations in place, and the same thing is true for Australia,” he says, “so it’s a big difference.”
Australia has a national ban on the importation of processed foods, so the food industry has been able to import frozen foods.
And the country also has a strict food price index, which tracks the cost of a product on a daily basis.
And because the food companies that produce frozen food are based overseas, it can take time to get the product to the market in Australia.
“There’s a lot more risk to the food coming in, and that’s because the companies have to put in extra capital and money into production to get it to market,” Mr Gynne says.
It’s a similar situation in other countries.
In Canada, where Mr Glynn works, frozen food is sold at a much lower price, because the frozen foods are not yet processed.
In Britain, frozen bread costs $1 on the supermarket shelves, but in Australia it costs $2, and is sold for $2 in the local supermarket.
That price gap in prices can be a significant one.
“It’s the difference between a slice and a bag, so you might pay more for a bag than you would for a piece of bread,” Mr McFadden says.
He says the difference in prices also reflects the difference of production.
“If you’re just producing frozen foods in the backyard and importing them out to the world, you’re getting the same price as if you were producing in a large facility,” he explains.
The difference in production is also one that is often overlooked.
“A lot of the cost difference between an Australian frozen food company and the UK’s food industry is that we’re importing a lot and we’re exporting a lot, but we’re also importing more and more,” Mr McGlynn says.
So when you are looking at a product in Australia and it costs the same as in the USA, it means the Australian food industry isn’t doing a good job of getting the product into the market.
“Food is so cheap in Australia,” Mr McMillan says.
“You can buy the same product for around the same cost in the United States, but they’re not selling it in Australia because they’re importing it.”
He points to a recent study which found that when a product is imported from Australia to the UK it costs around $6.50 less per kilogram than the same amount of produce in the country.
“This is just a simple fact,” he said.
“And there are some companies that are doing it the right way.”
So what’s the solution?”The