Supermarket food in Britain costs more than in Europe and USA, IRI analysis reveals

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More than half of all FMCG products sold in UK supermarkets are sold on offer. Despite this, the price of food in the UK is higher on average than elsewhere in Europe and the USA. A new analysis by global FMCG market and shopper intelligence firm IRI, finds that the UK is the most expensive country to buy 57% of FMCG goods.

IRI analysed sales data for 14 staple foods during the three months ofJuly, August and September this year. The analysis reveals that:

  • Seven key items rank higher than the average price elsewhere in Europe: rice, mayonnaise, yogurt, longlife milk, beer, fruit juice and cola
  • Three items are more expensive in Britain than any other country in Europe and the USA: rice, fruit juices and beer (even though fruit juice and beer have higher than average levels of trade promotions)
  • The UK is the second most expensive country in Europe and US to buy longlife milk and soup
  • Butter is cheaper in the UK, Netherlands and Germany, where it is used more and benefits from low VAT.
  • Frozen pizza is the only item that is the cheapest to purchase in the UK

The price of food items in UK supermarkets compared to Europe and the USA:

Spain Germany NLS Italy Greece UK USA Avg EU non UK
Cereals €4.29 €4.35 €3.59 €6.41 €6.34 €4.20 €5.14 €5.00
Rice €1.07 €2.14 €2.19 €2.29 €2.51 €3.07 €1.98 €2.04
Tuna fish – Canned €7.69 €7.34 €8.66 €10.01 €12.41 €6.89 €6.71 €9.22
Wet Soup – Ambient €1.71 €2.06 €2.07 €4.82 €1.89 €2.39 €2.85 €2.51
Mayonnaise – Ambient €3.03 €2.78 €2.54 €4.37 €4.59 €3.63 €3.51 €3.46
Frozen Pizza €6.54 €5.11 €5.45 €5.70 €6.25 €4.72 €5.57 €5.81
Yogurts €2.26 €2.05 €1.37 €3.94 €4.31 €3.71 €3.70 €2.79
Margarine €3.57 €2.39 €2.97 €4.63 €4.93 €3.11 €2.90 €3.70
Butter €6.66 €4.86 €4.66 €8.05 €11.27 €5.81 €6.83 €7.10
Milk – Ambient Longlife €0.70 €0.73 €0.73 €1.00 €0.92 €0.98 €2.95 €0.82
Beer €1.16 €1.20 €1.56 €1.85 €1.81 €2.56 €2.08 €1.52
Fruit Juices – Ambient €0.82 €1.16 €0.81 €1.37 €1.39 €1.51 €1.21 €1.11
Energy drinks €1.27 €2.42 €1.82 €4.43 €3.63 €2.13 €4.19 €2.71
Colas €0.85 €0.72 €0.84 €1.05 €1.07 €0.99 €0.89 €0.91

Tim Eales, strategic insight director at IRI, said: “A relentless focus on achieving low prices by offering high volumes of products sold on promotion has not made the average basket of food items any cheaper. UK shoppers are not getting a good deal on price.”