Alcampo hypermarkets are the cheapest option for shopping in 27 Spanish cities, according to a study by the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU), followed by Mercadona, with the lowest prices in ten cities, and Supeco (of the Carrefour group) in seven .
If the data is observed by chains and not by individual establishments, the cheapest during this period are Tifer, Dani Supermarkets and Family Cash, while Sánchez Romero, Ulabox, Nova Venda and Amazon appear in the most expensive section.
The cheapest supermarket in all of Spain -of those included in the study- is an old acquaintance because it has appeared many times: the Alcampo de Coia hypermarket in Vigo, followed by another Alcampo, that of Murcia, who gave the first job he got in 2021.
In this group of the cheapest are the Spar supermarkets in Badajoz and Cáceres, and a Family Cash in Puertollano.
Sánchez Romero in Madrid, the most expensive
At the other end of the spectrum is a Sánchez Romero establishment (a chain acquired by El Corte Inglés) in central Madrid, which also holds the top spot for another year.
By cities, the average prices recorded in supermarkets make Vigo the cheapest city for shopping (Pontevedra), followed by Ciudad Real. They are followed a short distance by Granada, Almería, Puertollano (Ciudad Real), Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz), Huelva and Palencia.
On the contrary, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Girona, Madrid and Alcobendas (Madrid) are the most expensive.
Regarding the regional ranking, La Rioja, Extremadura, Galicia and Murcia are the least expensive regions, while the Balearic Islands and Catalonia are the most expensive.
These are some of the conclusions of the annual study presented by OCU spokesperson Ileana Izverniceanu and for which 1,180 establishments were visited in 65 cities between May 2021 and the same month of 2022. In addition, it collects figures from “online” supermarkets up to analyzing 173,392 prices of 239 products from different categories.
Biggest price rise in at least 34 years
The report detects a price increase of 95% of the products out of more than 200 that make up this “basket type” designed by the OCU. The products became more expensive by an average of 15.2% over the observed period, the biggest price increase in at least 34 years when the OCU studies were launched.
The upward trend has continued this summer, as confirmed by a small survey carried out this summer in Madrid and Barcelona.
Izverniceanu says he is pessimistic because the trend is still bullish, since in these four months there has been an increase of 0.9%.
“We are concerned that this trend could be extrapolated to other products and if the costs of production, electricity and transport continue to increase, in the end the product that arrives in our baskets will continue to increase until action must be taken,” he warned.
The rise seen for the first time in the annual survey occurs across all chains across the board and significantly exceeds the CPI for the period, although not all items acted the same.
The rise in the price of sunflower oil stands out, with a rebound of 118%; that of muffins and margarine (+75%); and bananas (+64%), pasta (+56%), olive oil (+53%), flour (+50%); and eggs (+47%).
An average saving of almost a thousand euros
OCU officials pointed out that despite everything, you can still save if you choose where you buy carefully. The national average savings can reach 994 euros depending on the establishment where the purchase is made.
Even so, this saving is lower than that of the previous study, since it is detected that the figures between the establishments have been more equal: the cheaper ones have increased more than the expensive ones, shortening the difference between them.
However, these nearly a thousand euros represent 18% of the budget to fill the basket because the average annual expenditure per household for this is 5,568 euros this year.
The differences between cities are still considerable. Again, Madrid is the city where you can save the most if you choose the supermarket well, up to 3,529 euros, due to the wide range of offers. Between the most expensive and the cheapest supermarket there are differences of 70%.
On the contrary, the cities where it is more difficult to save are Cuenca (485 euros), Segovia (520) and Pontevedra (526). In the first and second, the cheapest and the most expensive supers only distance themselves by 9%, according to the OCU study.
Web edition: Óscar Tomasi