The FINANCIAL -- In September 2019, the average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian khachapuri reached 3.64 GEL, which is 3.0% higher month-on-month (compared to August 2019), and 2.3% higher year-on-year (compared to September 2018). The price of khachapuri increased in all four major cities of Georgia: Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi, and Telavi.
Two factors together pushed the Khachapuri Index upwards in September. On the one hand, the Index is up due to a seasonal decline in the supply of raw milk and therefore cheese—the main (and most expensive) ingredient in khachapuri. On the other hand, due to the depreciation of the Georgian currency against the USD over the recent months, the price of imported milk powder (used as a substitute for fresh milk) increased, which pushed the price of cheese up.
Considering average prices, Telavi is currently one of the most expensive markets for khachapuri ingredients. The cost of cooking one standard Imeretian khachapuri stood at 3.86 GEL which is 6% above the national average.
At this time of year this is not surprising, as Telavi is the capital of Georgia’s main wine-producing region, Kakheti. Furthermore, September is a very special month for Georgia as it is the time of the grape harvest (“Rtveli”). Rtveli celebrations start at the end of August and continue for several weeks, providing a boost for domestic and international tourism, which led to an increased demand for cheese, and higher prices resulted.