THE AVERAGE COST of a basket of groceries has increased significantly last year, even as households nationwide continue to struggle financially.
Latest figures from the National Consumer Agency showed prices on a selection of everyday items had risen by more than five per cent in three of the country’s major supermarkets since July 2010. At Superquinn the increase was 5.7 per cent, while at Dunnes Stores it was 5.5 per cent and Tesco 5.4 per cent.
According to a separate survey from Kantar, overall grocery prices have risen by 3.9 per cent year on year.
The survey also found that there was a high level of price-matching between supermarkets, with retailers focused on “matching, but not beating” their competitors. Some 37 per cent of the 92 everyday products assessed had identical prices at Dunnes, Tesco, Superquinn and two SuperValu stores. Aldi and Lidl were not part of the survey.
NCA chief executive Ann Fitzgerald said price matching “remains the case, as we see first and second ranking in our survey separated by just 0.02 per cent, with a difference across all of the retailers of just 3.4 per cent. Rather than seeing the emergence of a real champion of better value, we observe that grocery retailers in the Irish market remain tightly focused on matching, but not beating, the prices of their competitors.”
On a basket of 92 common branded products Tesco and Dunnes shared the lowest total bill, with a difference of just four cents between them. Superquinn was 1.3 per cent more expensive. Two SuperValu stores were surveyed as the chain does not have a national pricing policy, and were found to by 3.4 per cent more expensive than the lowest price.