More than a third of Brits say they don’t know the price of a pint of milk or a loaf of bread, according to new research.
The Real Price Report, from Aldi, shows that it’s not just politicians that don’t know the price of groceries – the average Brit thinks essentials such as a loaf of bread, a pack of pasta and a tin of baked beans cost more than double what you can actually buy them for.
More than 2,000 UK adults were asked to estimate the price of a basket of everyday grocery products, and this was compared with the actual supermarket prices*. It showed that Brits aren’t always clued up on what things cost.
Overall, shoppers think that a typical basket of commonly-bought groceries costs nearly 22% more than it actually does – or £10.62 on the average shop (£59.74 instead of £49.12).
Out of a list of 30 everyday food items, shoppers overestimated the cost of 27. The only products that people thought were cheaper than the real price were tenderstem broccoli, chicken breasts and blueberries.
This is despite more than three-quarters (77%) saying they always check the price of products before putting them in their trolley, and that price is the most important factor when supermarket shopping.
And the nation appears to be getting more cost-conscious, with 28% saying that they are more aware of the cost of groceries because of the impact of the pandemic (up from 22% in June).
Around one in ten (12%) are limiting how much they spend on groceries as a result of Covid-19, and 9% have switched supermarkets because of the pressure on household budgets.
Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK, said: “The analysis shows just how much cost confusion there is amongst UK shoppers, with few able to tell you the price of basic grocery items like bread, milk and eggs.
“This means that many shoppers could be unwittingly paying over the odds for their food shop, and there’s evidence to suggest that families are increasingly feeling the pinch because of the pandemic. With the new lockdown restrictions, and in the lead-up to Christmas, we’re expecting more people than ever to be looking at ways to save money – including on groceries.
“Recent research released by Which? showed that doing a full shop at Aldi was 24% cheaper than the same shop at the Big Four, meaning there could be big savings to be had just by switching supermarket.”
The products that Brits most overestimated were a packet of bourbon biscuits (82p vs. 27p) a bag of pasta (£1.09 vs. 51p) and a box of bran flakes (£1.85 vs. 89p).
People living in the North West are the most price-aware – with only a 16% overestimation – and those in the South East are the least, overestimating by 27%.
The data also shows that Aldi customers are more aware of the true cost of groceries, overestimating the basket of items by 10%, compared to Sainsbury’s shoppers who overestimate by nearly a third (30%).
* An average of the prices at Aldi, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda. All supermarket prices were logged as of Thursday 24th September and, where necessary, the pro-rata cost was taken to account for variations in size. The basket of items was made up of 30 common weekly food shop purchases, based on the ONS Consumer Price Inflation Index basket of goods.
The consumer research was conducted by YouGov/Aldi between 24th – 25th September 2020. Total sample size was 2,066 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 24th – 25th September 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
|Name of item||YouGov consumer estimate of price||Real-life price (average taken from Aldi and big four)||% difference in price mis-conception|
|Packet of bourbon cream biscuits (200g)||£0.82||£0.27||201%|
|Bag of pasta (500g)||£1.09||£0.51||113%|
|Box of bran flakes (750g)||£1.85||£0.89||107%|
|Tin of baked beans (425g)||£0.63||£0.31||106%|
|Sliced white loaf of bread (800g)||£1.07||£0.52||105%|
|Ready salted crisps (6 pack)||£1.40||£0.75||87%|
|Bottle of wine (750ml)||£6.23||£4.61||35%|
|Bunch of bananas (5 pack)||£1.21||£0.71||70%|
|Packet of salad tomatoes (6 pack)||£1.14||£0.71||61%|
|Medium free-range eggs (6 pack)||£1.38||£0.87||59%|
|Pot of natural fat free yoghurt (500g)||£1.23||£0.80||54%|
|Packet of pork sausages (8 pack)||£2.30||£1.51||52%|
|Packet of black tea bags (500g)||£2.34||£1.62||44%|
|Semi-skimmed milk (2 pints)||£1.12||£0.80||40%|
|Pack of extra mature British cheddar cheese (400g)||£2.80||£2.01||40%|
|Bag of potatoes (2.5kg)||£1.76||£1.27||38%|
|Tin of tuna chunks in spring water (160g)||£1.30||£0.96||35%|
|Bag of large red onions (3 pack)||£0.98||£0.75||30%|
|Bag of frozen chicken nuggets (450g)||£2.31||£1.80||28%|
|Bag of oranges (5 pack)||£1.51||£1.19||26%|
|Packet of mushrooms (200g)||£1.12||£0.89||25%|
|Bag of Granny Smith apples (6 pack)||£1.59||£1.35||18%|
|Packet of beef mince (500g)||£3.13||£2.69||16%|
|Bag of basmati rice (1kg)||£1.76||£1.54||14%|
|Packet of fresh salmon fillets (240g)||£3.69||£3.24||14%|
|Tub of spreadable salted butter (500g)||£2.03||£1.92||6%|
|Lamb steaks (300g)||£4.16||£4.01||4%|
|Packet of tenderstem broccoli (200g)||£1.33||£1.49||-11%|
|Packet of fresh chicken breasts (1kg)||£4.43||£5.21||-15%|
|Packet of blueberries (400g)||£2.03||£3.90||-48%|
|Sum of basket of items||£59.74||£49.12||22%|
Aldi, the UK’s fifth-largest supermarket, will return the full value of the business rates relief it has received during the pandemic. Over £100m will be paid back to the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations.