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Que Choisir supermarket survey


Pickles
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The association Que Choisir has done some research into prices in the various supermarkets in France. Between 17th Sept and 1st Oct, 1724 super- and hypermarkets across 91 departements were visited anonymously. They recorded the unit prices of 60-odd branded products in the grocery, drinks, fresh produce, deep-frozen, personal hygien, baby, cleaning and pet ranges. The full report is available to purchase via their site, but some local papers have released parts of the report relevant to their area. In the Montpellier region, for example, the cheapest overall (4.77% lower than the average price) was Leclerc, followed by a Hyper U (4.13% below). A Carrefour Market (smaller, ex-Champion supermarket) was cheaper (at 2.6% below average) than the Carrefour Planet mega-hyper-super-whatever (at 1.68%). Individual Carrefour Markets ranged from 2.6% below the average price to 3.86% above the average. Intermarchés were generally around 1% below the average price, though some were just above the average (at 0.39%). Auchan was slightly above average at 0.46%. Géant Casino seemed consistently above average prices (3.08-5.68% above), and the highest prices were found at the city-centre Monoprix shops: 9.65%-10.22% above the average prices. To me there seems, not unexpectedly, to be a correlation between the likely cost of the building versus the price of the basket of items.

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I use Monoprix for the convenience and their excellent online delivery service, but I am aware that they are not cheap.

On the other hand I don't have to move from my room and I have the time to study what I need at my leisure and not make impulse purchases.

I also like a number of their own brand products which does help to reduce the final total.

I use Picard for frozen for the same reasons, though I have been told that Thiriet is interesting

There is an article about the competition between these two here

http://www.lefigaro.fr/societes/2011/10/28/04015-20111028ARTFIG00659-surgeles-guerre-frontale-entre-picard-et-thiriet.php

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[quote user="andyh4"]Ineresting that none of the so called Cheapie supermarkets are mentoned - Netto, Aldi, Lidl etc.

I assume they were outside of the scope of the study because their ranges are not big enough to cover all of the items.[/quote]

My reading of the methodology was that they bought national brands only, not own-label (or "unkown brand") products.

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There's no Carrefour, Auchan, Hyper/Super U or Monoprix within easy driving distance, so the "choice" is fairly restricted.

I shop at Aldi/Lidl for all basics and necessities, and split the rest between Leclerc (now that the nearest one has been enlarged and refurbished) and Géant.

I know for a fact that Géant is more expensive, however the choice of brands and the range of products they offer cannot be matched by Leclerc, which basically sells 1 or 2 leading brands and their own.

Wherever I go (Géant or Leclerc), I am aware that it's a 70km round trip and that's not one I want to make every other day. So I make lists and plan as much as possible through the email newsletters from Lidl and Aldi, and weekly mini-catalogue from Leclerc, which lists their currents promotions. I buy necessities in bulk when I see a bargain (10-pack of toilet paper at 25% discount: I'll have 4 packs please!), I make use of vouchers when they can be used for something I actually need, and I make stuff at home rather than buy ready-made.

It's all very boring really... [:$]

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Does your Géant deliver an online order Clair? That is something I couldn't live without now, and the possibility to choose at leisure takes a lot of the pressure off

Ours does, but I found the service less efficient than that of Monoprix.

A larger selection though, and less expensive

Of course I get quite a lot of food in particular from the producers' market or Les Halles.

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[quote user="NormanH"]Does your Géant deliver an online order Clair? That is something I couldn't live without now, and the possibility to choose at leisure takes a lot of the pressure off

Ours does, but I found the service less efficient than that of Monoprix.

A larger selection though, and less expensive

Of course I get quite a lot of food in particular from the producers' market or Les Halles.[/quote]

Yes, they started their online shopping service last year.

If I were so inclined, I could shop online and get a delivery, or shop online and collect from the collection point at the side of the supermarket.

I haven't tried either, but I have looked at the website (HERE).

The online range seems limited when compared with the shop offerings. I suppose I could see myself trusting some unknown person to choose stuff like cat food or washing-up liquid, but not fresh produce or meat.

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  • 4 weeks later...
I am all for Leclec but it depends on which store you go to... Our local one is great and the only thing that keeps my sane in France.

Geant is great for bulk shopping when promotions are on.

Leader price is the pits of the world except in Martinique where it is the only place that is affordable.  I can not understand who would shop there...

I may get slated for this but Lidl and Aldi in France are dreadful.. well over priced.. except 1 or 2 items.

Promocash and Metro are equally rubbish.. except 1 or 2 items.

Best shop in the whole world but not very accessible for me is Grandfrais.. just for fruit n veg

Other supermarkets lemon grass = 15€/kg, grandfrais 3€/kg

Longan in Grandfrais 3€/kg even cheaper than in Thailand(relatively speaking)

* nb all info above is based on the prices of items when there happens to be a promo.

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[quote user="osie"]I may get slated for this but Lidl and Aldi in France are dreadful.. well over priced.. except 1 or 2 items.[/quote]

[8-)]

As I don't have the option of shopping at Aldi or Lidl in the UK or Germany, I'll have to accept their dreadful prices...

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Actually German supermarkets are soooo bad that Aldi and Lidl dont seem all that bad... best bet in Germany is to get one of those metro cards(yep great in Germany, rubbish in France) and realise how much worse off the rest of the germans are.

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I think that there's a lot made of 'which is the cheapest place' and I don't doubt that for many that's the overriding factor.

For us though, it's where you feel most comfortable. Sad , isn't it?

What I mean by this is whether the things you want are always there when you go, whether the place feels crowded, whether you have to spend ages checking out.

We optimise the 2nd & 3rd above by nearly always doing a 3 wkly-ish shop early in the week. It happens to be Leclerc, which is more than twice the distance than others. Daily (bread) and other interim needs are satisfied locally.   

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  • 5 months later...
They've done a new survey, this time focussing on the coast

http://www.quechoisir.org/commerce/test-de-services-panier-de-l-ete-trouvez-le-magasin-le-moins-cher-sur-le-littoral

Leclerc seems to come up trumps. Mind you, they've ignored the Carrefour Planete hypermarket near where we go.

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We find that few of the supermarkets are cheap if you do all your shopping in one place, that's the game we/they play, we do the rounds of all the supermercado's especially Lidl/Aldi/Netto; doing half a shop here and there, ignoring brands before moving onto the next, though it's not just about price (just because we check the price per litre or get out the calculator), it's offers, deals and choice to please what we're doing that week. We think that the bigger stores are a nightmare generally though, not necessarily the cheapest and too many people! Interesting that a survey in the UK recorded how much of a revival the smaller stores are going through now, in some small rejection of the bigger stores, so much so that the bigger chains are opening more of their 'mini express' stores

 

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[quote user="NormanH"]Interesting that the Leclerc in Lattes is so cheap. That is a rather expensive suburb of an expensive town...

[/quote]

It has to compete with a nearby Carrefour Planete (which came out as being one of the cheapest in an earlier survey, but wasn't included in this one) and an Auchan, both in Perols.

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