Sandwich shop fruit prices can send you bananasWhich? makes fruitful discovery

24 April 2008

A bowl of fruit

Fruit and vegetable waste is ideal material for a wormery

The price of fruit at a national sandwich chain can cost you 20% more than if you shop at their local rivals, a Which? study has found.

We found that the most likely price for an apple or banana at a chain such as Prêt à Manger or Upper Crust is 50p.

But you'd pay 10p less if you bought the same fruit in an independent sandwich shop.

And the lowest price we found was 20p for a piece of fruit at an independent sandwich shop in Norwich.

Prêt à Manger

The difference between chains and independents over the course of a year would leave you £26 out of pocket if you bought a piece of fruit each weekday.

Our researchers checked prices in 28 shops in Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and Norwich.

These included branches of Prêt, Upper Crust and O’Briens Irish Sandwich Bar, as well as independent sandwich outlets.

The national chains were quick to justify their prices.

A spokeswoman for Upper Crust said: ‘Our fruit is priced at 50p per item, in line with other retailers within the environments in which we operate.

‘The core product lines at Upper Crust are sandwiches and bakery products – fruit is included as part of a broad range to offer further healthier options and more choice to customers.’

Coffee shops

Prêt told us that that it stocked seasonal varieties and that its fruit were ‘premium products and the best available at any one time’.

Our hunt for prices on the high street follows our February report on coffee shops, which also found that national chains were more expensive.

The average price of a medium cappuccino, for example, was £2.29 in the most expensive chain compared with £1.48 in independent shops.