Growing price gap between name-brand goods and supermarket labels

New research from Consumentenbond, a Dutch consumer association, has found a growing price gap between name-brand goods and comparable items manufactured under supermarket branding.

In a study investigating 15 supermarket chains with a market share totaling 96%, Consumentenbond found that customers who buy private labels over name brands can save over 40% on their daily shopping. This number has continued to grow from last year’s price gap of 36% and a 31% gap in 2017.

This year, a shopping cart with 90 name-brand grocery items costs an average of €177 where a cart with 90 comparable store-brand items costs an average of €105. For example, this year Komo garbage bags became on average 29% more expensive, the price of Unox canned pea soup rose 30%, and the cost of Blue Band for cooking, baking and roasting rose 48%.

One reason cited for the sharp price increase of name-brand goods is the VAT increase from 6% to 9% which went into effect January 1, 2019. In addition to the VAT increase, supermarkets and manufacturers also attribute the consumer price increase to the rising cost of raw materials, improved quality of the products, and higher transport costs.

Consumentenbond found Picnic and select Jumbo and Hoogvliet stores have the lowest prices for name-brand items with an average of 5% savings. The cheapest supermarkets for private labels are Aldi and Lidl, where customers pay 15% less on average. Consumentenbond plans to release the entire study in the Consumer Guide in September.

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