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No supermarket budget brands left? Expect to pay 3x more

Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek
Posted:
Updated:
22/09/2023

Shoppers looking for a bargain could be paying three times more than needed for essential items, a consumer champion reveals.

The stark gap between supermarket budget brand versions of everyday food staples and own-brand alternatives has been highlighted in Which? analysis of around 26,000 food and drink products.

One example found Asda customers would pay nearly 250% more for own brand rice, when the budget range version (52p for 1kg) was not available.

Worse still, if no own-brand options of rice were available, the study found the branded version, Ben’s Original would cost £4.85 – a rise of 833% on the budget range.

A similar scenario occurred in Morrisons when it came to baked beans. A tin of 410g Savers Baked Beans costs 27p, but its own-brand Morrisons Baked Beans were 78% more, costing 48p. Bigger brand Heinz Baked Beans 415g were £1.39, a gram-for-gram increase of 396%.

Supermarkets looking to address budget range disparities

However, the supermarkets have looked to amend this issue and Morrisons has decided to stock 10 budget range items in 500 of its ‘daily’ stores and Tesco has followed suit and declared it will swap branded goods with cheaper branded or own brand alternatives in Express stores.

As households look to battle winter energy bills and the cost-of-living crisis, Sue Davies, Which? head of food policy, said: “As millions struggle with increased food prices and other high household bills, it’s staggering that shoppers face paying over three times more for items if they can’t get to a larger supermarket.

“Which? is calling on all major supermarkets to ensure expensive convenience stores are stocked with a range of essential budget ranges so that hard-pressed customers can afford important staple foods to feed themselves and their loved ones healthily.”