In August 2015, the average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian Khachapuri reached 3.49GEL, which is 11.4% higher month-on-month (compared to July 2015), and 7% higher year-on-year (compared to August 2014).
Two factors combined in August to push the Khachapuri index upwards. On the one hand, the Index is up due to a seasonal decline in the supply of cheese – the main (and most expensive) khachapuri ingredient. At the same time, August is the high season for tourism, particularly along the Black Sea coast. According to the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the number of tourists this August exceeded last year’s level by 10%. Hordes of tourists hungry for traditional Georgian delicacies created a temporary spike in demand for cheese and other basic products, pushing all prices up, for khachapuri as well as other goods and services.
When both supply and demand forces work in the same direction, the result is a sharp and universal movement in prices. Thus, in August, the Index went up in all Georgian cities. While increasing very modestly in Tbilisi (by 1%), the Index experienced much larger hikes in Kutaisi and Telavi (10% and 14.8%, respectively). The tourism effect on demand was most pronounced in Georgia’s main seaside resort, Batumi. Reflecting local touristic congestion, the Index increased by 20.3%, making Batumi the most expensive city for khachapuri lovers (and not only).