Consumer group reports eight supermarket chains in Spain for hikes in staple food prices
Facua has made a formal complaint against large store chains after detecting price increases in more than 400 products, notably fruit, vegetables and olive oil after the IVA sales tax rebate came into effect
Wednesday, 19 July 2023, 12:07
In June, food prices in Spain closed with a rise of 10.3%, according to data from the national statistics institute (INE) which is still very high but represents a significant drop on the 16.5% seen in February and March.
The government argues that the IVA (Spanish sales tax) rebate on staple foods, is containing the level of food inflation that has been registered for the last three months. However, behind this containment there are foods affected by the rebate that continue to rise in price on the shelves of large supermarket chains.
In July, more than 400 products increased in price compared to their price on 31 December, before the rebate came into effect on 1 January. Data from the consumer association Facua reveal that almost half of the products analysed (463 of the 985 prices reviewed, 47%) have risen in price in these months.
Eight large supermarket chains named
Facua has announced that it is going to pass the complaints to the Spain's National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) that it has already filed in previous months against the eight large supermarket chains (Alcampo, Aldi, Carrefour, Dia, Eroski, Lidl, Hipercor and Mercadona) where it has found irregularities. So far Facua has not received a response from the CNMC.
The products leading the increases were fruit and vegetables (33% of the total prices analysed), olive oils (20%) and rice and pasta (14%). They were followed by milk and pulses.
In July, the highest number of price anomalies were found at Aldi, where 60% of the reduced IVA products analysed were more expensive than before the measure. This was followed by Carrefour and Alcampo, while Lidl and Mercadona were the two chains where the fewest irregularities were found, 43% and 33% respectively.
Prices are causing people in Spain to spend almost 10% more on shopping than they did a year ago. Data from the NIQ consultancy firm shows that total sales of consumer goods in shopping baskets in June increased by 9.8% compared to the same month last year, despite the fact that 1.3% less was bought in quantity. By categories, the products leading the way in price rises were food (10.7% more expensive than a year ago), followed by beverages (10.2%).