THE NATIONAL Consumer Agency has released figures that show that the cost of supermarket groceries in Ireland have dropped by 14%.
Prices have fallen over that last 18 months, according to the study, which examined the cost of 103 branded grocery items in Tesco, Dunnes Stores and Superquinn and 87 items when SuperValu was included.
Read the survey here.
The results showed that there was virtually no price difference on branded goods between Tesco, Dunnes Stores and Superquinn; the difference between the cheapest and most expensive a basket of 103 items was just €1.14 or 0.4%.
The cost of the sample baskets:
Dunnes Stores = €279.62
Tesco = €280.69
Superquinn = €280.76
Ann Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of the National Consumer Agency, says that while it is good news that prices are dropping, the study also highlights that a lack of competitiveness exists between the state’s largest retailers – which a serious issue for Irish consumers:
The results show that while grocery prices have dropped across the board, over the past 18 months, there is evidence that the most powerful retailers in the State, between them controlling 70% of the market… are still price matching in core branded items to a significant degree, albeit at much lower levels than in 2007 and 2008.
This suggests that competitive pricing is still not a feature of the Irish grocery market and to address this there is a real need for a new entrant to the market to offer consumers a real alternative.