SIPEL SUPERMARKET in Albufeira has been exposed as being the most expensive supermarket in Portugal for the second year running, according to a study published in the May issue of Pro Teste, the magazine from DECO, Portugal’s consumer rights association. Also named alongside Sipel as charging the highest prices in the country are the Novo Mundo and Super G supermarkets, both of which are in Lisbon. For the study, a total of 63,000 prices were compared, collected from 550 different establishments in 111 locations from the north to the south of Portugal, not forgetting the islands.
The definitive supermarket guide
This annual supermarket study published in Pro Teste has become ‘the bible’ for thrifty shoppers looking to save money.According to the publisher, “50 per cent of readers confirm that this high profile study influences, changes or validates their choice of supermarket.”
Third of earnings spent on groceries
Each person, on average, spends a third of his or her annual earnings on food shopping and products for the home and it is, therefore, very useful to know which shops are offering the best prices. Meanwhile, it has been reported that this study stimulates competition among the country’s supermarkets which can only mean good news for the consumer.
Two different trolleys were studied
Due to the fact that people buy various different types of products, Pro Teste put together two different trolleys to form the basis of the study.
• Trolley One included 100 well defined products and brands that are sold in the majority of supermarkets (for example, a litre of semi-skimmed milk).
• Trolley Two included a total of 81 products aimed at those who enter a supermarket, look for the products they need and then find the cheapest available.
Lowest prices are in the north
The supermarkets were classified by consumer type and by region. The champion announced as offering the best prices for the products contained in trolley number one was Intermarché in Guimarães. Unfortunately for those living in Lisbon and the Algarve, the news is that the lowest prices are obtainable at stores in the north of the country – of the top ten cheapest supermarkets, three are in the Braga district, two are from Aveiro, one from Porto and another from the district of Viana do Castelo. Of the remainder, two are from Setúbal and one is from Lisbon.
Southern Portugal has most expensive supermarkets
Of the 100 stores that occupy the lowest spots on the list, only eight are situated north of Aveiro with the districts of Faro and Lisbon having the dubious honour of boasting the three most expensive supermarkets in the country.
Overall, Continente and Plus come out on top
Overall, across Portugal, Pro Teste points to Continente stores as offering the best prices for Trolley Number One. Minipreço comes in second place while Modelo follows in third position.Jumbo, Novo Horizonte and Carpan trail in fourth place. For Trolley Number Two, Plus supermarkets take the top spot, while Lidl clearly wins second place. Carrefour scores third and is followed by Continente and Jumbo in fourth spot.
Enormous price variations
Supermarket prices in the same city can vary enormously and Faro, Lisbon and Setúbal are the districts where the most variations occur. “Shoppers in those locations will need to choose their supermarket very carefully.Why pay more when you can buy the same products for a lot less money? If you opt for a cheaper supermarket you could save almost a thousand euros a year,” warns Deco’s Pro Teste magazine.
Almost a thousand euros could be saved
An example of such a situation exists in Albufeira (District of Faro): supposing that 250 euros per month is spent on groceries and the supermarket usually chosen is an expensive one (Sipel, in Avenida 25 de Abril), opting for one of the cheapest (Continente in Algarve Shopping), you could save more than 76 euros every month. Therefore, at the end of one year, the savings for Trolley Number One would be around 912 euros.
Save money just by crossing the street
Take another case, this time in Lisbon.Suppose 250 euros is spent in A.C. Santos in Avenida 5 de Outubro, if opting for Pingo Doce in the same street, 53 euros would be saved every month, or in other words, 640 euros per year.Therefore, taking this example, to save hundreds of euros it is only necessary to walk a few metres more or to go to a shop on the other side of the street.