Your local shop could be costing you hundreds of pounds more a year. There, we said it.
Whether we like to admit it or not, a quick trip for groceries from Sainsbury’s and Tesco convenience store does cost more.
Families know they are charged more at supermarkets’ small branches than at the main ones, but today we can reveal by just how much.
A study by Which? suggests people could be spending an extra £15.73 a week on everyday items – or more than £817.91 a year.
A comparison revealed that some 75 items, including Anchor Spreadable Butter, a Hovis white bread loaf and own-brand milk bought from Tesco Express add up to the whopping amount.
Similarly, 69 grocery items at Sainsbury’s Local, including Birdseye Potato Waffles and Heinz tomato soup, cost an extra £477.93 annually.
Which? acknowledged that prices regularly fluctuate, but found steep mark-ups at both Sainsbury’s and Tesco convenience stores on individual items.
Sue Davies, head of food policy at the watchdog, said: ‘Convenience stores offer a local lifeline for some shoppers.
‘But Which? research shows shopping at a supermarket convenience shop rather than a bigger store comes at a cost – at a time when soaring grocery prices are putting huge pressure on household budgets.
‘We know the big supermarkets have the ability to take action and make a real difference to people struggling through the worst cost-of-living crisis in decades.
‘That is why we are calling on them to ensure everyone has easy access to basic, affordable food lines at a store near them, can easily compare the price of products to get the best value and that promotions are targeted at supporting people most in need.’
One of the worst examples of such price inflations was discovered at Tesco, where some items are as much as a third more than the original price.
Which? also found Mr Kipling Bakewell slices were £1.27 online or at larger stores, but cost £1.62 at Tesco Express – 28% more.
At Sainsbury’s the worst offender was Heinz Cream Of Tomato soup, which was £1.15 online and at the bigger store, but £1.37 at Sainsbury’s Local – a 19% mark-up.
Similarly, Birds Eye Potato Waffles were £1.71 at Sainsbury’s, both online and at bigger stores, but £2.01 at Sainsbury’s Local.
Such price differences are likely to affect those who are more vulnerable to food insecurity, like the elderly.
There are also examples where some items are more expensive at the big stores.
Anchor Spreadable Butter Tub (500g), Colgate Total Original Toothpaste (125ml) and Magnum Almond Ice Cream were all 3% cheaper on average at Sainsbury’s Local compared to supermarkets and online.
A spokesperson for the business stressed that the differences in price were down to its Local stores typically being based in city or town centre locations, where the operating costs are higher.
Meanwhile, a Tesco spokesperson said: ‘We work hard to ensure our customers get great value at Tesco, whether they shop with us online, in a large store or in an Express store.’
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