MADRID – Of course, due to the high energy prices, the crisis does not pass by Spain’s supermarkets. Not even the chains that are known to be the cheaper ones. However, Mercadona makes it very difficult with price increases of certain products.
The supermarket even increases the price of some products by 45% in a few days without prior notice to customers. This while the Valencian company achieved a record turnover of more than €25 billion last year. The company also did more than well in the corona year 2020, because people were no longer able to eat out for a long time.
Due to inflation and the scarcity of raw materials caused by the war in Ukraine, virtually all supermarkets have taken advantage of the situation to openly raise the prices of almost all their products. However, the cases where they have gone too far are denounced by consumers on social media.
Average price increase of 9.4%
The Spanish consumer organisation OCU is clear about this, confirming that “the main supermarket chains have increased their prices by 9.4% in the past year, but that half of that escalation has occurred in the past three months.” Of those supermarkets, Mercadona is the one that has raised prices the most.
Over the past week, complaints have been pouring in on Twitter about the exorbitant increase in the price of certain products overnight in this supermarket.
So @dani_gilabert tweets: Hi @Mercadona, what happened to these sandwiches that went up 35 cents from yesterday to today? From €1.65 to €2.00. A rounded price to save on change, right???
The sliced 100% whole-wheat bread from private label Hacendado has also risen from €1.90 in March to €2.50 in April, 32% more expensive.
“The ciabatta bread has gone from €1.00 euro to €1.50 today, I don’t even go in to buy bread anymore,” complains another user on the same social network.
Another example is the phenomenon of shrinkflation, which we mentioned earlier in an article. @Quickorro posted a photo about this on Twitter of ‘rebellion in Mercadona: The photo shows a close up of casino bread ‘Blanco Familiar’ from house brand Hacendado. There an angry customer stuck a note with the text: “You increase the price and on top of that you decrease the number of slices of bread from 28 to 26. THIEVES!”
Thereunder, @JusticieroXX responds with a photo of an opened package that says 28 and a still closed, newer package with the quantity indication of 26 slices. The bimbo bread format is now sold for €1.25, while it used to be on the shelves for less than €1.00.
@Rafaelsanzm tweets: Hi @mercadona, do you know the price increase of that bread is 14%? €1.50 to €1.70. We will deal with the price increase of the salmorejo from €1.70 to €2.80 on another day…
Salmorejo is certainly a popular product as the days get warmer in Spain because of its good quality and because it is widely promoted by Mercadona under the slogan: “The new food from Mercadona that keeps you stronger and healthier than ever”.
A 5-litre bottle of refined sunflower oil, produced in Ukraine and available just a few months ago for €8.95, now costs €15.75.
Even a daily product such as milk does not escape a price increase at Mercadona. @nocamorra tweets about this: @mercadona Mercadona when are you going to stop raising prices? The lactose-free skimmed milk carton of 6 cost €4.68 a month ago. Then you increased it to €4.86 a month ago and today it is €5.04. Within a month it costs €0.36 euros more.
@Alexsenyat complains at a photo of small packages of pâté for cats: @Mercadona you outdo yourself: from €0.35 to €0.55, almost double!!! Always low prices!!
Products that have fallen in price
There are also cases of products that have been reduced in price, although not much. For example, a can of Madrid-based stew has gone from €1.25 to €1.20, or the 30 ml garbage bags of the Bosque Verde brand have gone from €1.75 to €1.70. Coca-Cola Zero has also fallen in its packaging of two two-litre bottles, from €3.52 to €3.24.
Despite all this, for consumers, the products that are suddenly more expensive seem to be in the majority. Social network users who complain about this accuse Juan Roig’s company of having economic difficulties at this time.