Supermarket Pricing


Here is my blog from February this year about supermarket pricing tricks. There is more about this issue tonight on Panorama where the discuss the tricks and misleading practices the big four supermarkets use to make you think you are getting a bargain. I think you should watch it.

So any way I was in a supermarket on Sunday doing the weekly shop with my wife.

Now I am not normally allowed in with her as she says by my mere presence I increase the cost of the basket, however on this occasion I joined her as trolley pusher.

It was really the first time I had been in a supermarket since the beginning of Fish Fight and I did, as you might expect, spent some time looking at the fish counter. Not too long I hasten to add because it smelt! I just find some of these supermarket fish counters a bit depressing to be honest. They did have some dabs though, which I have been unable to get, but they were not great to be honest.  A good example why we try not to sell fish out of season.

Any way the fish counter aside it was something else that caught my eye. I picked up a large squeeze bottle of salad cream, which I love by the way, thinking it would be cheaper to buy the larger until looking at the shelf saw that the smaller bottle was cheaper per 100gm. I looked and checked other similar items and saw the same was true. The labels did show the comparisons between price per gram but in very small lettering and I wonder whether some of the odd sizes of bottle ie 375 gram is done to make it harder to compare like for like.

How come? I stupidly thought the more you bought the cheaper it would become and I suspect most of having been brainwashed into the value pack idea would think much the same but it appears not to be the case. I have even subsequently seen a multi buy offer that was proportionately more than buying the packs singularly!

I spoke about this at length here at work and it appears it happens all the time.

Another example of slightly misleading selling is some of the (not so) special offers that you see in the supermarkets. Following on from my conversation with colleagues about relative packaging size and price someone pointed out an offer on salmon in one of the big four supermarkets. The offer was buy three fillets of salmon for £10. Sounds a good deal untill you worked out that given the actual size of the fillets the price per kilo was actually £13.45.  Now most people would say that going to an independent fishmonger would be more expensive but our price for salmon fillets is £12.95kg and it’s not even on offer and I can assure you its a damn sight better quality too.

In this difficult economic climate it is important to remember that the supermarkets are making record profits as we spend more of our weekly budget within in them and they are not doing that by giving stuff away. Yes they buy their stuff cheaper but that’s not the whole story and if you really looked at what you were purchasing you might find that there were better quality and better value options elsewhere.

I’ll go so far as to make a bold statement – we sell the best value fish in town fact.

Now you may have to get past the spin and cleverness of the supermarket to fully appreciate it but believe me its true.

On the same kind of subject it’s interesting to see the new adverts for the Co-Op which are going against what we have been told for 40 years. You can live your life without doing a massive weekly shop and it can be cost-effective as you may waste less food than you do today. An interesting and bold move on their part and we will wait to see if it is effective but even in  these difficult times I would recommend that you leave the supermarket behind with their clever corporate ways and go back to visiting your butcher, baker and of course fishmonger because this is where you will always get the best value.

One Response to Supermarket Pricing

  1. Cardifflandlord February 2, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    I went to buy some Horlicks the other day from Tesco. Special offer on 300g “less packaging refills” was more expensive than the larger normal tubs which were not on special offer! These morons really do treat us with contempt!

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