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2016 Supermarket Study

27 sep. 2016
According to OCU, consumers can save 933€ on their shopping cart 

OCU has published the results of its annual supermarket study. The main conclusion reached after the detailed analysis of nearly 163,000 prices is that consumers can save an average of 933€ on their shopping cart. OCU carries out this study in order to determine the prices of the different supermarkets with the goal of providing consumers with information that allows them to compare prices between supermarkets and save on their grocery shopping. The results of this study are being published in the October’s OCU-Compra Maestra magazine. 

OCU visited 1,193 establishments located in 63 cities and on the Internet. 162,928 prices of 231 different fresh and packaged foods as well as personal hygiene and drugstore products from 17 different categories were recorded. 

This year, there was an important change with regards to the methodology used in the study. Previously, “average” and “economic” shopping carts were used. This year, they have been substituted for a single “shopping cart” which records the general price level in each establishment and, via the creation of an index, allows for the direct comparison among the various supermarkets. With this modification, OCU’s supermarket study adapts to consumer habits and the establishments’ commercial offer. 

This “shopping cart” is comprised of 231 products, including fresh foods (meat, fish fruits and vegetables), packaged foods and personal hygiene and drugstore products from both name brands and store brands. Each of the products is given a specific weight in the shopping cart according to the family budget study carried out by the INE (the Spanish National Statistics Institute). With this shopping cart, consumers can compare the prices of the individual products from all of the various establishments specifically.   

The results from this supermarket study show that they cheapest establishment is the ALCAMPO hypermarket in Vigo. This chain dominates the top spots of Spain’s cheapest establishments with their hypermarkets in Murcia, Seville, Oviedo and Madrid. They are followed by Dani supermarkets in Jaen and SUPECO in Alcala de Henares. Once again, the most expensive supermarkets are SÁNCHEZ ROMERO in Madrid and are followed by the online store ULABOX, SUPERMERCADOS VILLA DE MADRID and SORLI DISCOU in Madrid and Barcelona respectively. 

In addition to a establishment-by-establishment comparison, OCU’s supermarket study also allows for a comparison of the chains themselves. In this way, consumers from cities that have not been visited during OCU's study can have a general idea regarding the level of prices they can find in nearby establishments. According to the study, DANI is that cheapest chain followed by ALCAMPO, DEZA, CASH FRESH and FAMILIA. SÁNCHEZ ROMERO, ULABOX and SUPERMERCADOS VILLA DE MADRID are the most expensive. 

It is also possible to do a comparison between cities. In 2016, the cheapest cities for doing the shopping are Almeria, Puertollano and the Corredor del Henares. Las Palmas of Grand Canary Island, Barcelona and Getxo are the most expensive. By Autonomous Community, La Rioja is the cheapest whereas Catalonia and the Balearic Islands are the most expensive.   

The price differences between establishments allows consumers to save an average of 933€ a year in 2016. This has increased by 13.4% with regards to the previous year due to the increase in the price differences between supermarkets. OCU points out that this savings is equal to one fifth of the total yearly expenditure of an average home, highlighting the importance choosing an establishment with low prices instead of others with higher prices has on a family’s economy. 

Madrid, at 2,999€ a year, continues to be the city where the largest savings is possible. Alcobendas-San Sebastian de los Reyes comes in second with a possible savings of 2,750€. These are followed by the Internet, which, for the purposes of this study, is considered as another city, where consumers can save 1,827€, Barcelona with a savings of 1,632€ and Gerona with 1,595€. Zamora is found at the other extreme where consumers can only save 276€ due to the limited offer. It is followed by Ciudad Real with a savings of 287€ and Segovia with 409€. 

On average, prices have increased with regards to 2015 by 0.7% compared to the decrease of 0.2% found the previous year. Despite the decrease in the Consumer Prices Index, half of the products which make up this shopping cart have increased. These increases have been more significant than the decreases found in other products, a situation that is detrimental for families having difficulties making ends meet. This year, the main chains have increased their prices more sharply and in more generalised way than last year when some increased their prices while others lowered them. 

Finally, the following conclusions can be made from OCU’s study: 

  • Discount shops are, for the first time, the cheapest format followed by the hypermarkets and supermarkets.
  • A single family can save, on average, 933€ on their grocery shopping depending on the establishment they choose. This figure is equal to nearly one fifth of their annual food expenditure.
  • Madrid is the city in which consumers can save the most: 2,999€. Zamora, on the other hand, is where they can save the least: 276€. The potential savings in Madrid is equally to that spent on groceries during 11 months.
  • ALCAMPO is the cheapest chain in most of the cities and in nearly all of the cities in which it is located
  • La Rioja is the cheapest Autonomous Community while the Balearic Islands and Catalonia are the most expensive.
  • The cheapest chains are DANI and ALCAMPO. SÁNCHEZ ROMERO and ULABOX are the most expensive.
  • Prices for half of the products in the shopping cart have increased by, on average, 0.7%. 

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For more information, please contact Eva Jiménez(media). Telephone: 917226061