National Shopping Basket comparison: local versus multinational

Clare Hymer challenges the common belief that local food is more expensive than food bought from the supermarket.

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There are many factors that we take into account when doing our grocery shop. For many, the most important is cost. The belief that locally-bought food costs more than supermarket-bought food can therefore act as a barrier to buying local produce. To put this belief to the test, I conducted a direct price comparison of local food with food from Sainsbury’s for some of the National Shopping Basket’s popular grocery items.

Starting with veg: In Sainsbury’s an 80g bag of Rocket Salad is £1.50, while a similar sized bag local organic Mixed Salad Leaves and Rocket from Single Step in Lancaster is £1.73 – a very comparable price. Veg2u.co from Pye Nanny Hall Nurseries in Halton also offers very favourable prices for their vegetables, with some items being cheaper than their supermarket equivalents. You can buy vine tomatoes from Veg2u for £1 per 250g. This works out as cheaper than two similar products at Sainsbury’s: both Sainsbury’s Vine Ripened Tomatoes, which are £1.20 per 250g, and Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Medium Vine Tomatoes, £1.50 for 300g. Another example: Sainsbury’s White Potatoes are 64p per kg, which is also comparable with the prices of veg2u.co, whose potatoes are 65p per kilo at the moment. Moreover, veg2u.co will deliver your veggies to your front door free of charge in the Lancaster, Morecambe, Carnforth and Lune Valley Districts.  Even better, I was told by Liz at veg2u.co, that prices would drop as veggies come into season!

Moving onto other groceries, the average price for a pint of free range milk from Stephenson’s Food and Dairy, delivered to your door, is 60p (but may vary depending on milkman and where you live). A pint of Sainsbury’s British Semi Skimmed Milk is 49p. However, it is important to bear in mind that this Sainsbury’s milk is not free range, whereas the local alternative is.

When it comes to eggs, the local option is cheaper than a similar product from Sainsbury’s. Whilst Sainsbury’s Free Range Woodland Large Eggs x6 are £1.65 per unit, 6 Large Free Range Eggs from Pye Nanny Hall Nurseries are only £1.30. You can also have them delivered to your house for free!

Dispelling the cost myth, I found that many items in my weekly shop can be bought more cheaply locally than from a supermarket, and many can be delivered straight to my doorstep free of charge.

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