Supermarket price tricks exposed Which? believes two stores broke the law

29 September 2010

A woman pushes a shopping trolley around a supermarket

Own brand goods could be much cheaper than named varieties - and you may not notice the difference between them

A Which? investigation has found that buying bigger versions of your everyday shopping doesn’t always mean better value, and Which? even believes some product claims have illegally misled consumers.

Data supplied by supermarket price comparison site to Which? revealed more than 600 examples on 1 August this year where you would actually get better value buying the smaller versions of products.

After a check of the supermarkets, Which? found three examples of bigger products that we believe illegally misled consumers. The packaging of these products - at Asda and Sainsbury's - claimed they were ‘great’ or ‘better’ value than their smaller equivalents - but the opposite was true.

A triple-pack of Sainsbury’s ‘naturally sweet’ sweetcorn, trumpeted ‘bigger pack, better value,’ when in fact, buying three individual tins of the same product was 4p cheaper. Sainsbury’s also sold a 2kg bag of spaghetti for £2.45 with the same slogan, but buying two 1kg bags would have saved you 27p. Meanwhile, two 400g packs of Cathedral City Cheddar at £2.88 each was 22p cheaper than the ‘great value twin pack’ 700g version of the same product.

Price tricks at supermarkets

Asda and Sainsbury’s blamed human error and have since changed the prices of these examples, but we’re reporting the incidences to trading standards officers.

Which? members can read the full article about supermarket price tricks here 'Supermarket price tricks exposed', covering everything from why some products are constantly on offer to the round pound deals that actually meant some of your shopping went up in price.