In the light of much criticism for the pointless nature of carrying out grocery pricing surveys, the National Consumer Agency still proceeds with these farcical surveys.
This months one, as referred to by Conor Pope on Wednesday evening, has not a whole lot new to tell us. The headline points from the NCA press release tells us the following points:
* Price difference between multiples widens on basket of branded goods
* Gap between discounters and multiples narrows on own brand goods
* Aldi and Lidl price difference shrinking
Hidden down at the bottom of the press release is the detail of what the headline should be – Grocery Prices Increase across all main grocery stores:
Examining the period from December 2007 to January 2009, aggregate prices in separate baskets for Tesco, Dunnes and Superquinn all recorded an increase. Tesco recorded the largest increase (4.9%), Superquinn (2.8%) the smallest increase. Dunnes recorded an increase of 3.5%.
In a time when demand and prices are generally falling in Ireland, our supermarkets are upping their prices by up to nearly 5%. And the previous darlings of Ann Fitzgerald – Aldi and Lidl – are even at it when it comes to own brand products:
Over the period December 2007 to January 2009, separate baskets for Aldi, Lidl, Dunnes and Tesco all became more expensive. Tesco’s basket recorded the largest increase at 9.3%, Dunnes the smallest increase at 4.1%. Aldi recorded an increase of 4.2% and Lidl an increase of 4.7%.
Who cares, really, about the relative differences between supermarket pricing – all that consumers will really care about is the fact that grocery prices are universally increasing. And a couple of grocery price surveys by the NCA every year isn’t having any impact on that rising trend.