May 30, 2012 Fresh Plaza
The big four supermarkets groups are not matching the prices offered by street markets for fruit and vegetables, recent research suggests.
Research, undertaken by one of London’s most popular street markets, has shown that consumers spend in the region of 32% more when buying their fresh produce only from the main UK supermarket chains, than if they were to shop at street markets.
It was even shown that buying fruit and vegetables that were on offer could be higher prices than in the markets – especially as shoppers often buy more than they need to when discounts are offered.
Savings are particularly keen on local, seasonal produce in good supply. English asparagus at supermarkets this weekend costs from £6 per kilo compared to £2 – £2.50 per kilo from markets.
However, the same is often the case for exotic produce as well. A pair of large mangoes are currently selling for around £1 from markets or 60p each compared to between £1 and £1.50 for a large mango at the big four supermarkets.
Ironically, fruit & veg markets have been in long-term decline because of the growing dominance and popularity of supermarkets, and even price rises have not been enough to slow the trend.
Figures collated by the Office for National Statistics show that the average price of vegetables has risen by 5 per cent in the past two years while the cost of fruit is up 4 per cent, with most of the increase coming in the past year.
Those rises are lower than wider consumer inflation in the economy but will still have added to the squeeze on household budgets.
Richard Dodd, spokesman for the British RetailConsortium, said: “Value is right at the top of the customer’s list in these difficult times and supermarkets are battling it out to serve them with a mass of prices and promotions that change frequently.
“It is not true to say across the board that fruit and veg is cheaper at street markets but they are one channel along with greengrocers and supermarkets that shoppers are checking more than ever to decide where to shop.”
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