Ripoff 1

£18.99 for three gluten-free matzah led shoppers to ask: “Are they having a laugh?”

Shoppers were left asking whether stores were “having a laugh” with the pricing of Passover products this year blasted as “despicable and immoral” by consumers.

Shoppers with debilitating Celiac Disease, who need gluten-free matzah – or unleavened bread – for the Seder table, were among the hardest hit, having to fork out £18.99 for three gluten-free oat Shmurah Matzah (pictured, right).

Similarly, Kestenbaum’s gluten-free oat matzah for the Seder table were priced at £10.99 in a well-known Golders Green store, whereas Jerusalem’s organic spelt matzah sold two for £3.

Across other products too, shoppers found prices sky-rocketing, with Lieber’s jam at £4.25 one example.

But despite the prices, there were fears that Londoners would feel compelled to spend close to £40 on Matzah over the two nights, as they sought to follow religious guidance and instruction.

For example, Lubavitch of Edgware says on its website: “Shmurah Matzot are baked under strict supervision to avoid any possibility of leavening during the baking process… It is fitting to use Shmurah Matzah on each of the two Seder nights for the three Matzot of the Seder plate.”

“It’s immoral, especially within the context of Pesach,” said one lady with Celiac Disease, who preferred to remain anonymous. “It’s beyond despicable. There’s a strong sense of deception, as if they’re having a laugh, thinking about how much they can get away with.”

Several consumers have taken to web forums pointing out the price hikes, with Rabbi Yitzchok Schochet of Mill Hill shul using his Ask the Rabbi column to blast the extortionate prices from kosher food outlets.

“I looked up highway robbery… a mugging that takes place outside and in a public place such as a sidewalk, street, car park or Passover kosher shop,” he joked.

For many however, the prices were no laughing matter, but due to the holidays, many suppliers were unavailable for comment.