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The myth that grocery prices have fallen during the recession


Berchmans

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Nov 23, 2009
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Governments (especially the previous FF/Green one) have stated that the wage cuts, higher taxes, etc. during this era of austerity can be supported by the overall supposed fall in the cost of living.

The propaganda is also spouted by contributors here on P.ie (on behalf of retailers) that if wages are reduced, then the retailing sector and supermarkets will accordingly adjust their prices downwards. By my own experience, I can't say that I've noticed that the cost of my weekly basket of groceries has declined. In fact, more the opposite over the past few years.

Conor Pope in the IT has also noted the same thing, as concluded from a survey of the major Irish supermarkets:

Grocery staples rise in price by 12% in less than two years, survey finds - The Irish Times - Mon, Feb 11, 2013

Up 12% in two years.

So, is price-gouging continuing unabated by Irish retailers, despite the recession?
 


sondagefaux

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Not a mention of Lidl or Aldi in that report, and all the products are branded, not supermarket own-brand. In other words, the report shows results based on not shopping around for better value.
 

Berchmans

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Not a mention of Lidl or Aldi in that report, and all the products are branded, not supermarket own-brand. In other words, the report shows results based on not shopping around for better value.
From my own experience, admittedly anecdotal, the price of my weekly groceries has also risen for Lidl - where I do the majority of my weekly grocery shopping.
 

Heligoland

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Not a mention of Lidl or Aldi in that report, and all the products are branded, not supermarket own-brand. In other words, the report shows results based on not shopping around for better value.
Yeah. Shut up and eat your poisoned horse burgers.
 

Cellach

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The survey also found indications of widespread price matching across the State’s main supermarkets – Dunnes Stores, Superquinn, Supervalu and Tesco.

There was a price difference of just 55 cent between the cheapest supermarket – Superquinn – and the dearest, Supervalu. The price of the basket of goods in Tesco and Dunnes Stores was identical.
There's your problem.
 

Deep Blue

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Aren't bad harvests supposed to affect the cost of almost all groceries?

Potatoes and bread have gone up, so therefore meat, milk, eggs and cheese etc. will follow?

I even read that last year's cotton crop was devastated by floods in China, which will result in more expensive clothing, as material will now have to be sourced from the more expensive US and India.
 

Mad as Fish

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Not a mention of Lidl or Aldi in that report, and all the products are branded, not supermarket own-brand. In other words, the report shows results based on not shopping around for better value.
That's not really the point. The question is, has a basket of groceries risen or fallen in price? By shopping around for value you are not comparing like for like over time.
 

turdsl

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Any person doing the shopping knows well, costs have gone up. Who would be foolish

enough to listen to IBEC or government propaganda.
 

Pissyknickers

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CAI, an organisation in terminal decline with very scant resources releases a trend-defying survey result across a narrow basket. Sorry but I think this story will boomerang shortly. The result is contrary to CSO and plain observation. Price matching is a common feature of tight competition. Aldi with its own brand range, now widened to a full basket, is about 20% to 30% cheaper saving shoppers a couple of grand if they are prepared to move off brands. For the moment I am taking the CAI effort with a hefty tablespoon of salt. They simply are not as accurate as CSO or NCA and this smacks of a poor publicity stunt sadly
 

Dame_Enda

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I blame overheads, charges by our state-monopolies like ESB, and upward-only rent reviews. To a lesser extent I blame a culture if reckless spending that began under the boom and continues among those who have weathered the recession better than others. Other reasons include unduly stringent and slow planning regulations, with too much of a bias towards objectors. This results in less competition, which keeps prices high. Big Government is Bad Government.
 

Pissyknickers

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CSO data shows groceries at .5% 2012 after 1.1% 2011 following an 8% fall over 09 and 10. Sorry but the CAI story is plainly wrong. There was a lift in December but nothing near what CAI are claiming.
 

Sync

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The survey also found indications of widespread price matching across the State’s main supermarkets – Dunnes Stores, Superquinn, Supervalu and Tesco.
What on earth makes administration hit Superquinn one of the "main supermarkets" over Lidl and Aldi? They've less than 25 stores, less than 20% the amount of Lidl's in the country.

It's an incredibly disappointing, lazy piece of work. What this shows us is A: that companies in a certain sector of a market match prices. Which everyone already knows. But the survey has deliberately ignored the lower priced sector of the market entirely. And B: That branded goods have increased in cost.

To do this properly you'd have extended to include Aldi and Lidl and instead of foolishly focusing on brand names, you focus on products.

How much does the cheapest litre of full fat milk, a bottle of cola, a tub of butter, a bag of sugar cost in Aldi, Tesco, Lidl, Superquinn etc? How does that compare to last year?

That's how you calculate a meaningful figure, not by looking at the most expensive stores and finding out how much brands Golden Vale, Coca-cola, KerryGold and Siucra cost. I buy Golden Vale in Superquinn because I can afford it. If I couldn't I would buy Gooldin Valski from Lidl.

You base your products for this sort of thing at the lower level of the scale, not the highest. It's like saying that car prices have gone up because Ferrari's have increased the cost in their models and ignoring the lower priced Skodas.

Pointless waste of time by the CAI.
 

Mad as Fish

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Aren't bad harvests supposed to affect the cost of almost all groceries?

Potatoes and bread have gone up, so therefore meat, milk, eggs and cheese etc. will follow?

I even read that last year's cotton crop was devastated by floods in China, which will result in more expensive clothing, as material will now have to be sourced from the more expensive US and India.
I've been saying it for a while now, food prices on the up as our energy prices and still the government wants to take more money out of the economy through higher taxes. It will be argued that the budget has to be balanced but it what is becoming ever more obvious is that an inactive economy will never generate the revenue to do that.
 

Pissyknickers

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Sorry but read the posts. This result is bull. It ignores Aldi Lidl and own brands and is completely contrary to CSO. The survey basis is tilted and has produced a totally unrepresentative result. The story here is actually more about CAI credibility.
 

Mad as Fish

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What on earth makes administration hit Superquinn one of the "main supermarkets" over Lidl and Aldi? They've less than 25 stores, less than 20% the amount of Lidl's in the country.

It's an incredibly disappointing, lazy piece of work. What this shows us is A: that companies in a certain sector of a market match prices. Which everyone already knows. But the survey has deliberately ignored the lower priced sector of the market entirely. And B: That branded goods have increased in cost.

To do this properly you'd have extended to include Aldi and Lidl and instead of foolishly focusing on brand names, you focus on products.

How much does the cheapest litre of full fat milk, a bottle of cola, a tub of butter, a bag of sugar cost in Aldi, Tesco, Lidl, Superquinn etc? How does that compare to last year?

That's how you calculate a meaningful figure, not by looking at the most expensive stores and finding out how much brands Golden Vale, Coca-cola, KerryGold and Siucra cost. I buy Golden Vale in Superquinn because I can afford it. If I couldn't I would buy Gooldin Valski from Lidl.

You base your products for this sort of thing at the lower level of the scale, not the highest. It's like saying that car prices have gone up because Ferrari's have increased the cost in their models and ignoring the lower priced Skodas.

Pointless waste of time by the CAI.
Wrong.

The quality of products is an essential part of the cost. Branded goods will retain a certain level of quality, by comparing non branded goods now with branded goods of a year ago you are not comparing like for like.

Poorer quality foods tend not to be so nutritious and will tend to contain more sugar, salt and additives and we are seeing this in the horse meat saga where price considerations have driven manufacturers to put any old rubbish in their products without asking too many questions, just so long as its cheap. The old adage that to make money in the food business is simply a question of selling more water or air than your competitor is as true now as ever. Bread is the classic example with the old Chorley Wood process (processed sliced loaf) designed to do just that, injecting brine into meat is another.
 

Norman Bates

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norman60bates
Wrong.

The quality of products is an essential part of the cost. Branded goods will retain a certain level of quality, by comparing non branded goods now with branded goods of a year ago you are not comparing like for like.

Poorer quality foods tend not to be so nutritious and will tend to contain more sugar, salt and additives and we are seeing this in the horse meat saga where price considerations have driven manufacturers to put any old rubbish in their products without asking too many questions, just so long as its cheap. The old adage that to make money in the food business is simply a question of selling more water or air than your competitor is as true now as ever. Bread is the classic example with the old Chorley Wood process (processed sliced loaf) designed to do just that, injecting brine into meat is another.
Maybe so. But nobody is suggesting that the CAI compare non-branded with branded goods. You can't. But they can compare non-branded with non-branded. And branded with branded. And you can say what a basket of branded goods is and what a basket of non-branded goods is.

And not everybody can afford to buy only branded goods.
 

Taxi Driver

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Anyone got a full list of the basket of goods and the prices in the four supermarkets used in the sample?
 

Pissyknickers

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Oct 1, 2012
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Yes agree about low prices and quality but that is not the issue. Rte TV3 lead with Pope article who lifted from CAI but no comments as to why CAI 2012 shows .5% and 12%! A 12% food rise is over 6 times inflation. Sorry don't buy it. Pope should know better than write up a sloppy Sunday article without raising some obvious questions himself.
 

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