The record price rise reduces food savings to a thousand euros

Interior of a supermarket / Reuters | Video: EP

DIA and Mercadona, the chains that have raised prices the most, according to a study by the OCU

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The prices of food products have registered a historical increase of 15.2%, according to the report carried out by the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) on the cost of the shopping basket, which has detected the highest price increase of food in the 34 years that the study has been carried out. In addition, the average annual savings that can be achieved by searching for the establishment with the cheapest prices does not reach one thousand euros, according to the director of communication and institutional relations at OCU, Ileana Izverniceanu: "You can see that you save a little less than the last year, 7.3% less”, he explained at a press conference.

For the first time, all supermarket chains have raised prices, but they have not done so in the same proportion. The OCU study indicates that within the large chains it is the establishments of the Dia group that have risen the most -Dia & Go (17.1%) Plaza de Dia (16.2%) and Dia (15.2%)- , as well as Mercadona (16.2%). On the contrary, those that rose the least were Alimerka (8.4%) Carrefour Express (8.5%) and BM Urban (8.8%).

Despite the strong increase in prices, the OCU study shows that it is still possible to save on the shopping basket if you choose well where to buy the products. The national average savings this year reached 994 euros, 7.3% less than last year due to the fact that cheap establishments have risen in greater proportion than expensive ones, which has shortened the distance between them. Even so, it represents 17.9% of the budget that an average household allocates to the shopping cart.

However, the differences between cities are important. The maximum saving is achieved again in Madrid and this year it reaches 3,529 euros, followed by the Alcobendas-San Sebastián de los Reyes area with 2,977 euros. On the contrary, the cities where there are fewer price differences are Cuenca (485 euros), Segovia (520 euros) and Pontevedra (526 euros). The possibilities of saving have to do with the diversity and breadth of the commercial offer in such a way that they are greater when there are expensive and cheap establishments in a locality and not so much with the general price level of the city, the report indicates.

The cheapest ones

The Alcampo de Coia hypermarket in Vigo is the cheapest establishment in Spain of the supermarkets visited by the OCU, while by chains they are Tifer (established in Castilla y León), Dani (local chain established in Jaén and Granada), and Family Cash the cheapest. Alcampo is another year as the cheapest national chain. On the opposite side are Amazon, Novavenda, Ulabox and Sánchez Romero as the most expensive chains.

The cities where shopping is cheapest are Vigo, Ciudad Real, Jerez de la Frontera, Almería, Granada, Huelva, Puertollano and Palencia, while Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, ​​Girona, Madrid and Alcobendas-San Sebastián de los Reyes ( Madrid) are the most expensive.

By autonomous communities, La Rioja, Extremadura, Galicia and Murcia are the cheapest regions, while the Balearic Islands and Catalonia are where it is more expensive to make the purchase.

The report has analyzed this year a total of 173,392 product prices after visiting 1,180 establishments of 80 supermarket chains spread over 65 Spanish cities in addition to the Internet.

Spending grows 11.6%

On the other hand, total sales of consumer goods in the Spanish shopping basket reached 5,883 million euros in August, which represents an increase of 11.6% compared to a year earlier, with a behavior very similar to that registered in the previous two months, according to the latest data released by NielsenIQ.

The increase in prices continues to be the main reason for this increase, as the volume registers a slight advance of 0.8%, with an increase of 10.7%, compared to August 2021, the highest figure since the beginning of the inflationary escalation and in line with the CPI data for August published by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), which stood at 10.5%.

According to the analysis, food is the sector with the highest outlay for Spaniards, with sales growth in value of 13.1%, despite the fact that the volume of purchases fell by 0.7%.

Among the products whose prices skyrocketed in August compared to a year earlier is margarine, 47.6% more expensive than a year ago; butter, 33.5% more; oil, with an increase of 33.4% more; pasta, 30% higher and industrial pastries costing 26.5% more.

The war in Ukraine continues to explain these rises, but also the drought this summer, with reduced harvests.

As for those that have risen the least in price, most are within the category of drugstore and perfumery, while sweets have become cheaper by 1.1%.

The distribution brand monopolizes 40.4% of the market share, which rises to 48.4% in food. The report highlights that Spaniards continue to opt for white brands to save, with a rise in spending of 16.7% and an increase in volume of 2.3%, compared to the decline in demand of 0.7% on manufacturer's marks. Even so, the data show a higher average price rise in distribution brands (14%) compared to that of manufacturer brands (9.1%).