Shopping at small supermarkets could cost you up to £320 extra per year on groceries

Monday, 8th February 2021, 9:35 am
Updated Monday, 8th February 2021, 9:35 am
Shopping at small supermarkets could cost you up to £320 extra per year on groceries (Photo: Shutterstock)

People who use convenience stores for their grocery shopping are spending hundreds of pounds a year more than bigger supermarket shoppers, according to new analysis.

Shoppers at smaller convenience branches of supermarkets, like Sainsbury’s and Tesco, are paying up to £320 more for their shopping over the course of a year, consumer group Which? has found.

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By looking at the prices of a list of 48 own brand and branded items every week over five months last year in both large supermarkets and their convenience branches, Which? found that many products were more expensive in the smaller stores.

While some products were the same cost, and a handful slightly cheaper in convenience stores, many of the items selected in a typical shop were found to be more expensive in smaller stores.

What were the price differences?

Shoppers using Sainsbury’s Local instead of a larger Sainsbury’s supermarket will pay £6.18 per week more on average, whereas those using Tesco Express will pay £5.37 more than they would at a bigger store.

Napolina’s chopped tomatoes and McVitie’s ginger biscuits tended to be more expensive in smaller Sainsbury’s stores, while a while of Tesco’s own brand products were more expensive, including orange juice and Greek yoghurt.

Many people have been reliant on smaller local shops during the pandemic, whether through the need to shield or concern over crowds at larger supermarkets. Issues with public transport also played a part.

Sainsbury’s told Which? that product price is determined by a number of different factors, while Tesco said that operating costs are higher in built-up areas.

‘Paying a premium’

Head of Home Products and Services at Which?, Natalie Hitchins, said: “Convenience stores have been a huge help to many of us during the pandemic.

“However, our research shows that shoppers who rely solely on supermarket convenience stores, rather than their larger stores for their groceries, are paying a premium.

“Customers will generally get more for their money at larger supermarket stores, but for some products, the price difference may not be significant, so it is always worth checking prices to make sure you are getting the best deal.”