Research agency GfK filled a shopping cart with 55 products that customers buy most in the Dutch supermarket. “This is really the basic range of the most popular items,” says Buysse. “A liter of semi-skimmed milk, half of whole wheat, toothpaste, flour, margarine, all those products that we all buy regularly.”
GfK does not take into account articles that are on offer. Furthermore, both private labels and A-brands are represented and it contains products from nine supermarkets, which together represent almost 92% of the total supermarket turnover: Albert Heijn, Jumbo, Lidl, Aldi, Coop, Dirk, Dekamarkt, Hoogvliet and Plus.
“We know that the 55 basic products are representative of purchasing behaviour,” says Buysse. “They are the most bought products in the category. Which products are exactly included in the basket is a secret, because this can influence the price development. Fresh is mainly our own brand and in perishable packaged products we have a good balance between house and A-brands.”
The prices of 55 products that customers buy most in Dutch supermarkets have risen by 15.5% since September.
A-brands and private labels are not bought twice, so no two packs of coffee in the cart. This also does not correspond to the purchasing behavior of supermarket customers. “A brands have risen in price earlier than private labels,” says Buysse. “Maybe branded product manufacturers have a stronger negotiating position and can pass on price increases more quickly. Private label manufacturers may also have longer ongoing contracts. In both A-brands and private labels, coffee will quickly rise in price, because the harvest has failed.”
Supermarkets’ eternal fear of being known as too expensive also plays a role. Buysse: “Well, supermarkets are indeed not very keen on quickly increasing the price of their own brands.”