Local shoppers pay hundreds more for food, warns Which?

Shoppers who purchase their groceries from local supermarket convenience stores instead of bigger supermarkets are paying hundreds of pounds extra each year for their food, according to new research.

A study from Which? highlights the extra costs of living in areas where delivery is poor or access to larger supermarkets is difficult.

Which? Found that customers buying the same 75 items from Tesco Express would be spending over £800 more each year than those shopping online or at a larger Tesco store.

At Sainsbury’s, Which? compared the prices of 69 groceries and found that shoppers using Sainsbury’s Local instead of shopping online or going to a larger store would have spent an extra £477.93 over the year.

While supermarket prices can fluctuate, Which? Said some individual prices were marked up significantly at both supermarkets. At Tesco Express, sweet potatoes could be up to 37 per cent more than at a larger Tesco.

Yet some prices at convenience stores are cheaper, with the research finding that toothpaste, ice cream and spreadable butter were three per cent cheaper at a Sainsbury’s Local than when purchased in a bigger store.

Responding to the research, a Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “There may be price differences between convenience stores and supermarkets. This is because our Sainsbury’s Local stores are located in city or town centre locations and their operating costs, for example rent and rates, are higher.”

Tesco did not wish to comment on the research.

Sue Davies, head of food policy at Which?, said: ““We know the big supermarkets have the ability to take action and make a real difference to people struggling through the worst cost of living crisis in decades.”

She added: “That’s why we’re calling on them to ensure everyone has easy access to basic, affordable food lines at a store near them, can easily compare the price of products to get the best value and that promotions are targeted at supporting people most in need.”

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