Thursday, October 28

Mercadona, DIA and Alcampo, the cheapest online supermarkets in the third quarter of 2021


At ConsumoClaro we do, every three months, an analysis of the prices of online supermarkets: the Quarterly Observatory of Basic Purchase. We put together the information from a total of thirteen food chains throughout the national territory to illustrate how much it costs us to make “basic purchases” from the Spanish. In this way, we can establish which chain is the cheapest and the evolution of prices.

Between June 2021 and September 2021, the price seems to have been established with respect to the observatories: the lowest price is lower than three months ago, although the total average of the purchase amounts to two euros.

In June 2021, the average basic purchase was around 70.76 euros, while in the current month it was 72.22 euros. Despite this, it does not reach the March 2021 averages of 72.66 euros, and is far from the December 2020 average of 91.91 euros. Although we will go into detail later.

In June 2021, the average basic purchase was around 70.76 euros, while in the current month it was 72.22 euros

The Quarterly Observatory of Basic Purchase studies two variables:

  • the price of the cheapest products in each supermarket
  • the cheapest average price (€ / Kg) of what it offers

In this way, we can obtain an overview of the purchase, always seeking to maximize the budget.

The basic purchase It is a concept established by the editors of ConsumptionClaro that seeks to resemble as much as possible a standard weekly or monthly purchase. Our list of products does not include those that depend on seasonality or those that are not food but are in a supermarket -cosmetics, cleaning, etc.- or children’s consumption.

Once the above has been explained, the basic purchase consists of:

meats

  • Pork loin
  • Beef burger
  • Fillet of beef
  • mutton

Birds

  • Chicken breast
  • Turkey breast
  • Chicken thigh
  • Carton half a dozen eggs

Fish*

  • Cod
  • Hake fillet
  • Salmon
  • Cooked prawn
  • Squid

Fruit

  • Oranges
  • Avocado
  • Royal apple
  • Banana banana

Vegetables

  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Green pepper
  • Red pepper
  • Potatoes
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce unit (iceberg)

Legumes and cereals

  • Chickpea jar
  • Pot of beans
  • Pot of lentils
  • Rice

* The fish included is frozen, since, in its online aspect, supermarkets do not offer it fresh

The cheapest supermarket of September 2021

Since the beginning of the Observatory, there are several supermarkets that have occupied the podium. In December 2020, it was Mercadona with a purchase of 78.14 euros, followed by DÍA and Carrefour. Three months later, in March 2021, Alcampo would be placed as the cheapest (53.28 euros), accompanied by Consum and Bonpreu.

The last analysis prior to this, from June 2021, indicated that the cheapest supermarkets were DIA, Mercadona and Alcampo. Now, in September 2021, the positions change, but the podium remains:

1. Mercadona (53.76 euros)

2. DAY (54.56 euros)

3. Alcampo (55.97 euros)

Alcampo is the only supermarket that has been among the three cheapest since March 2021, that is, for six months. Nor has the total of the purchase changed much during this time: in March the lowest price was € 53.28 (Alcampo), in June it was € 54.61 (DIA) and, currently, € 53.76 (Mercadona). The differences do not exceed the euro between them.

Regarding the bottom of the table, Caprabo continues to be the most expensive supermarket for the third time in a row. On this occasion, the price of the basic purchase rises to 99.73 euros, slightly lower than the 103.47 euros in June 2021 and the 111 euros in March 2021. BonArea with 86.59 euros and Eroski with 83, 76 euros close the last positions.

The complete table is as follows:

1. Mercadona (53.76 euros)

2. DAY (54.56 euros)

3. Alcampo (55.97 euros)

4. Consum (64.52 euros)

5. Ulabox (66.72 euros)

6. Bonpreu (67.14 euros)

7. Carrefour (73.21 euros)

8. Condis (75 euros)

9. The English Court (78.47 euros)

10. Hipercor (79.57 euros)

11. Eroski (83.74 euros)

12. BonArea (86.59 euros)

13. Caprabo (99.73)

Prices by sections of the purchase

The previous section seeks to be an indicative invoice based on how much the user would spend if he bought the cheapest of each of the products. For this reason, we also collect the average values ​​in € / Kg of each of the sections of the basic purchase (Meat, Poultry, etc.).

This average is the result of the price in euros / Kg of each of the products. We do this to counter the supermarkets’ habit of organizing higher priced lots for some cheaper products and other low-priced lots for expensive products.

Although on many occasions we are guided by the net price of the product, without taking into account other values, this does not mean that it is the best quality-price alternative.

The three cheapest supermarkets on average in € / Kg are:

meats

1 DAY (€ 8.44 / Kg)

2. Alcampo (€ 8.90 / Kg)

3. BonArea (€ 9.76 / Kg)

Birds

1. Carrefour (€ 4.03 / Kg)

2. Mercadona (€ 4.21 / Kg)

3. Alcampo (€ 4.60 / Kg)

Fish

1 DAY (€ 8.06 / Kg)

2. Mercadona (€ 9.35 / Kg)

3. Consum (€ 10.25 / Kg)

Fruits

1. Bonpreu (€ 0.47 / Kg)

2. Mercadona (€ 0.48 / Kg)

3. Consum (€ 0.52 / Kg)

Vegetables

1. Mercadona (€ 0.63 / Kg)

2. Consum (€ 0.70 / Kg)

3. DIA and Bonpreu (both, € 0.86 / Kg)

Legumes and cereals

1. Alcampo (€ 1.05 / Kg)

2. Mercadona (€ 1.09 / Kg)

3. Carrefour (€ 1.09 / Kg)

Based on these data obtained, we can establish that both meat and fish are the most expensive sections, in some cases even covering between 50 and 75% of the Basic Purchase. While the fruit is the most economical section.

Evolution of the sections Dec20-Sep21

As happened in the previous Observatory, the average in € / Kg was lower in December 2020 compared to the current average. For example, the average for “Fish” was € 10 / Kg 9 months ago, while now it is € 13.06 / Kg. As we can see in the following graph, the averages in € / Kg have been on an upward trend for several months. Despite this, the total purchase is nowhere near the prices of December 2020.


In December 2020, the average of the total purchase was 91.91 euros. The rest of the months – March, June and, the current one, September 2021 – are around 70 euros: € 71.36, € 70.76 and € 72.22; respectively. It should be noted that the most expensive supermarket has been reducing its price: while in March 2021 Caprabo placed the total purchase at 111 euros, in September of this year it did not reach 100 euros; a noticeable reduction.

Conclusions

After conducting this fourth study, everything seems to indicate that throughout 2021 there has not been a great variation in the price of food products, although there has been a great variation among the cheapest supermarkets.

Of the total of thirteen, six supermarkets have been on the podium of the cheapest: Alcampo, Mercadona -these two being the most common, since they have been three times in the Top 3 cheapest-, DIA, Carrefour, Consum and Bonpreu.

Since March 2021, Alcampo has been present and, compared to June 2021, the three establishments where it is cheaper to make the Basic Purchase are the same: Mercadona, DIA and Alcampo with a difference of more than two euros between the first and the third :

1. Mercadona: 53.76 euros

2. DAY: 54.56 euros

3. Alcampo: 55.97 euros

Even so, the best thing to do to spend as little as possible on the purchase is to go to several supermarkets, as long as this is possible -by geographical location and supply-. As has been observed in the averages in € / Kg of each section of the Basic Purchase, there is a great difference between establishments and the kilo of food varies a lot. So, if we could go to any of these places, the cheapest by weight are:

Meats: DAY, € 8.44 / Kg

Birds: Carrefour, € 4.03 / Kg

Fish: DAY, € 8.06 / Kg

Fruits: Bonpreu, € 0.47 / Kg

Vegetables: Mercadona, € 0.63 / Kg

Legumes and cereals: Alcampo, € 1.05 / Kg

If we went to buy each of the cheapest products in each section in the corresponding supermarket, the total Basic Purchase would be 51.27 euros; that is, two euros cheaper than the total price of Mercadona (the lowest this month).

It should be borne in mind that, on many occasions, this price can be reduced thanks to promotions, fast-expiring products, etc. that in ConsumptionClaro we do not take into account for our analysis.

Raw data from supermarkets, September 2021

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