MADRID – Do you also feel that every time you go to a supermarket you spend more money and get less? That is not surprising, because in recent months many foodstuffs have continuously increased in price, as have cleaning and drugstore products.
There are also brands that practice ‘shrinkflation’: They reduce the packaging or the quantities in that packaging and sell them for the same price. In this way, they hope to camouflage the exorbitant price increases a bit. However, the consumer is not stupid and can see the proof on the receipt every day. This has an increasing final amount while the list of purchased products becomes shorter.
Find the cheapest supermarket near you
If you have had enough of the price increase in Spanish supermarkets, you can use the new app from the Spanish consumer association OCU. This will help you find the cheapest supermarket in your area.
This could come in handy given that Spanish supermarkets have increased their prices by an average of 9.4% over the past year. Although, half of this price increase has occurred in the past three months. However, the increase in the prices of foodstuffs and other products is not the same in every supermarket.
To find out in more detail what the price development looks like in Spain, OCU compared the prices of 156 products in the online stores of Alcampo, Caprabo, Carrefour, Condis, Día, El Corte Inglés, Eroski, Hipercor, and Mercadona for several months.
Of those 156 products, 107 were of a specific brand; 28 were of a private label or white brand, and 21 products were fresh (fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish).
The data were collected quarterly from December 2020 to 8 March 2022. Just after that, the strike in the transport sector started, which provided a temporary extra boost on top of the existing price increases. Prices were collected in 10 different cities across Spain.
Price increases almost the same for all chains
The value of the shopping basket containing those 156 products as of December 20, 2020 (index 100) was compared with its value in March 2022. From this, OCU concluded that the price increase was close to 10% in all the above-mentioned chains, with only minor differences. Therefore, not much has changed in the positions of the chains in the ranking of ‘supermarket prices’, with Alcampo being the cheapest supermarket.
Mercadona prices the most
Although the price increases are quite similar, the largest has been recorded at Mercadona (11.9%). Prices also rose by more than 10% at Eroski and Alcampo. The other chains are between price increases of 8.5% (Día) and 9.9% (Hipercor).
Prices rose moderately until December 2021 and that increase accelerated quite a bit in the first quarter of this year due to the war in Ukraine, increased fuel prices, and the transport strike.
Mercadona, Alcampo and Carrefour still cheapest supermarkets
With a focus on the last 12 months, March 2021 to March 2022, Carrefour with 12.1%, and Mercadona, with 11.4%, appear to have increased their prices the most. El Corte Inglés and Hipercor increased their prices to a lesser extent, by 7.7%. Despite this, Mercadona and Carrefour are still the cheapest national supermarket chains, along with Alcampo.
Shopping basket is €500 more expensive on an annual basis
The price increases affect 84% of the products monitored by OCU and mainly concern foodstuffs. Oils increased in price the most (34%), followed by fish (16%), packaged foods (11%), and dairy products (11%). OCU calls these figures ‘worrying’ and points out that it concerns an extra expenditure of 500 euros on an annual basis based on the shopping basket for an average family.