Avoid the supermarket

Supermarket food is expensive

In the UK food is expensive. I was always shocked at the size of my grocery bill every time I visited one of the big supermarkets. For a weeks worth of shopping I'd see a receipt for £60-£70 and I was looking for the deals (I promise!). What's more, in the past I was only shopping for myself. What is even more concerning for the future is that with the recent developments in terms of the possible Brexit the value of the great British pound has fallen. This will result in foreign imports becoming more expensive. The likely consequence of this - food prices will go out even more, particularly in fresh produce. One might like to assume that the supermarkets will absorb these costs in an effort to keep customers, but given the squeeze on supermarket margins over the past few years this might not be possible, in which case the customers will suffer in the form of higher prices.

Price price price

One of the annoying pricing strategies for supermarket fruit and veg is that they generally round up to the nearest 50p or £1. As a result the veg shop significantly increases in percentage terms. For example, if a pear should retain at 25p supermarkets will round to 50p. 50p seems like a small number but it's a 100% increase on what it ought to be.

Recommendation food revolution 

My recommendation is that you shun the supermarkets. Instead you should visit your local greengrocer. The produce will normally be fresher, will have travelled less far (and hence have a lower carbon footprint) and will certainly be cheaper. Instead of the £60-£70 on  the weekly shopping budget I now find that I'm spending about £25 on better quality produce.

You're probably thinking that it's too good to be true. How can a small greengrocer a compete with the large supermarkets? It's simple economics. The small greengrocer does not have the the overheads required to keep a supermarket in business. Think about it. A supermarket has to constantly pay for marketing where a greengrocer does not. A supermarket will buy much of its produce centrally and hence incurs transportation costs which gets added to the price. A supermarket has to pay for additional land for customer parking where a local grocer does not. A supermarket has large staff costs such as shelf stackers, floor staff, head office, whereas the greengrocer may only have one or two employees. A supermarket may have large amounts of debt to service whereas the greengrocer may only have a mortgage. All of these factors add up to produce being cheaper to buy from the small shop owners. I agree - it's ridiculous!

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1 comment

Henry Lorimer said...

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