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Oxford Covered Market’s Ben’s Cookies continues full service despite price rise

A regular cookie from Ben’s Cookies, the cookie chain founded in the Covered Market in 1984, now costs £2.20 after a price rise from £1.85 occurred two weeks ago. 

The current economic climate has pushed prices up. Ben’s Cookies, which attracts students, locals and tourists alike, told Cherwell it was what needed to be done to tackle inflation. Despite basic ingredients rising in cost as a result of the current food and cost-of-living crisis, Ben’s Cookies still manages to attract cookie lovers to the Covered Market.  

Cherwell spoke to one of the employees about why they believe the stall has not noticed a reduction in customers despite the economic climate. They said that by calling the baked goods a “luxury”, price difference doesn’t deter customers who are able to treat themselves to a cookie or two. The employee explained that due to the quality of each freshly-baked cookie, customers will choose Ben’s Cookies over the neighbouring chains whose prices have also risen. 

Cherwell asked customers if they noticed the 35p price change and many hadn’t. One couple bought their baked goods for “old times’ sake” since their local Ben’s Cookies had recently shut down. For most, price increase is expected as one customer decried that “even the Oxford bus fares have gone up”. Oxford students have expressed that they couldn’t feasibly be regular customers anymore. This price increase comes alongside widespread food shortages and an influx of food bank usage in Oxford. For much of Oxford’s population, this cookie price rise will be the tip of the cost-of-living crisis’s mammoth iceberg.

Increasingly unmanageable costs are the new normal. But Ben’s Cookies has the benefit – for now – of generally expected inflation and continues its baking services at full throttle.

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