Which supermarket is the cheapest in the Netherlands? Which one has the best price to quality? And which one offers the best quality overall? Each supermarket offers a wide variety of price ranges and brands, there are promotions and seasonal products whose prices oscillate. It is therefore always a struggle to understand which one best fits our expectations. This blog post is again here to help you understand how the Dutch supermarkets compare to each other and which one is the most suited to you!
We’ll follow the structure of the Consumers’ association (Consumentenbond) that classifies three types of brands: A-brands, supermarkets’ own brands (huismerken) and budget brand.
Supermarkets’ own brands (huismerken)
The Consumers’ association offers yearly a comparison of the brands owned by each supermarket, to guide the interested consumer towards the cheapest option (prijspeiling/prijsonderzoek). This year (2021), they have compared 15 supermarkets (Albert Heijn, Aldi, Coop, Deen, Deka, Dirk, Hoogvliet, Jan Linders, Jumbo, Lidl, Picnic, Plus, Poiesz, Spar and Vomar). They have bought 125 products of the supermarket’s brand, and compared the prices.
Lidl has appeared again to be the cheapest, with prices that are 10% lower than the average. Aldi (-8%), that used to compare to Lidl, has slowly sinked and has been overtaken by Dirk and Vomar (both -9%) in the ranking, falling onto the fourth place.
What is apparent, is that the difference between supermarkets is less marked than what it used to be: in 2016 the cheapest supermarket was 21% cheaper than the average, while this difference has reduced to 15% in 2019 and to only 10% in 2021.
On the other hand, there is still quite a difference with more expensive brands: at Poiesz the supermarket’s brand costs 17% more than the average, Spar +14% and Coop +6%. That’s still quite a difference. Albert Heijn and Jumbo are falling on the average, Jumbo precisely on that and Albert Heijn just 1% higher, together with Picnic and Plus.
But are you wondering whether supermarkets’ brands are really cheaper than the A-brands? The Consumers’ association confirms that that’s the case, with a difference of even 45% in 2020. This difference, oppositely, is increasing: in 2014 it was 24%.
[Even limiting the study to supermarkets’ brands is already a challenge: Jumbo is the only supermarket that offers only one own brand, while all the other have more each. Thus making a comparison that satisfies all possible variations is very difficult.]
Albert Heijn offers the largest offer, with its own brand’s biological choice for 50 of the 125 products.
Number and quality of offers
Without surprises, Albert Heijn has the largest number of offers, and gives the largest discounts.
Fruit and vegetables
Also for what concerns fruit and vegetables, Lidl is on average 16% cheaper than other supermarkets, followed by Aldi (12% less than average), while the most expensive is Spar (18% more expensive than the average).
Not only, Lidl has appeared to be the best in fruit and vegetables for choice and offers (for the 10th time consecutively), while Nettorama (supermarket that was not included in the price comparison of the Consumers’ association) gets the first place in the fruit and vegetables department for quality, freshness and presentation.
On this, Jumbo and Picnic are just a little more expensive than the average. Plus is just a little cheaper than the average.
Jumbo and Picnic often offer a good deal for what concerns A-brands product. Plus has prices that are above the average.
Different parameters, different results
The more you search, the more you find. With so many variables that can affect customer’s satisfaction, it is easy to encounter different and opposed survey results. Groceries shopping is so personal and different that for every person the best supermarket may have a very different definition.
For example, Plus came out as the best supermarket in the Netherlands on the basis of prices, quality, selection, customer friendliness and radiation in a research of GfK.
- Be careful in interpreting the big letter signs. “The best supermarket in vegetable and fruit”, “The cheapest supermarket”, “The best offers”
- The discount supermarkets are not necessarily cheaper than the normal ones
Featured image by Mehrad Vosoughi on Unsplash.
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