The trick to saving at the supermarket, against inflation, may lie in the so-called average price: that is to say the price per litre, per kilo or per unit of the same product. A step in changing the shopping habits that the Portuguese are adopting, turning to supermarket brands and “thrift formats”
Teas, meat, avocados, citrus fruits, apples, flavored waters, formula, pumpkins, pears and vinegar. What do these foods have in common? They are on the list of food and beverage categories that did not see an average price increase until mid-August. In other words, they go against the trend of inflation.
But are they cheaper when everything else goes up? Not necessarily. The analysis by consultant Kantar, made available to CNN Portugal, is not based on retail prices, known by the acronym PVP. What is at stake is the average price paid: the value in euros per kilo, liter or unit of a given product.
This is why, compared to last year, 46 out of 331 product categories are reluctant to increase their prices, a minority of 14%. But the merit will not be the products themselves, but rather the strategies found by the Portuguese when it comes to shopping.
New consumer habits
According to Kantar’s analysis for CNN Portugal, in this list of products, the “main change” is the shift to retail brands – that is, the brands of the hyper and supermarkets themselves, which are generally cheaper. The same quantity of product is thus more accessible, lowering the average price.
A concrete example, taking a category where the downward trend in the average price was notorious: if each bag of black tea costs seven cents in the reference brand, it costs four cents in the hypermarket brand. The price alone makes the difference noticeable.
Another way families have found to beat inflation has been to stake larger amounts, with so-called “savings formats,” which also lower the average price.
An example, using a box of sausages of the same brand: a box of six frankfurters type sausages has an average price of €5.42 per kilo, a value which drops to €3.76 for a box of ten units, with the so-called “savings form”.
These are savings that, penny and penny, make the difference in the budget of Portuguese families. According to Kantar, there are only three product types that are not growing in average price, retail brand weight, promotions, or purchase quantity: citrus fruits, oranges, and incontinence products.
But, again, the consultant stresses that data analysis can never be linear, there are several possible scenarios and paths. In the case of oranges, for example, there may have been changes in buying habits, such as size, origin or place of purchase that influence this outcome.
Kantar’s analysis is based on a universe of four thousand Portuguese households, from which a systematic recording is made of the products purchased by the families.