Supermarkets are launching major promotions and promising that they can increase the purchasing power of consumers. What seems? Not all promises are fulfilled and some products have even increased in price, Test Aankoop reports. The consumer organization has informed the Economic Inspectorate and calls on supermarkets not to abuse the high inflation to mislead customers.
In times when, among other things, spaghetti, toilet paper, mustard and butter have risen so sharply in price that they now cost 30 percent more than a year ago, it is really worth keeping an eye on promotions. Test Aankoop has now investigated a number of large campaigns by supermarket chains, there are the Kleine Leeuwtjes at Delhaize, the Brand Festival at Colruyt and ‘1,000 products for less than 1 euro’ at Carrefour, and has come to the conclusion that they are not all equally correct. .
Carrefour speaks of ‘Up to 1,000 products for less than 1€’, but there are only 347 on their website. Moreover, 104 of these are unavailable. A price comparison of 36 products also shows that they already cost less than 1 euro before the promotion. ‘Carrefour has not made any product cheaper before its promotion, on the contrary, we discovered that 11 products have even increased in price,’ says Laura Clays of Test Aankoop.
Another action by Carrefour also raises eyebrows. The promise is to freeze 100 products in price for 100 days, but whoever goes to look will find only 58. And 28 of them are already unavailable online.
Also Albert Heijn dares to exaggerate with numbers. ‘More than 1,000 products, 2nd free’ turns out to be only about 580 products online. And when Test Aankoop takes a closer look, it turns out that only 264 products actually have a second free copy linked to it. For the other products, these are smaller discounts.
The Little Lions action of Delhaize is an example of how it should be done: the selection contains 424 products and the range is a good cross-section of what you find in the supermarket. A number of products were reduced in price for this promotion. ‘But under the pretext that the discount at Delhaize on products with nutriscore A and B increases from 5 percent to 10 percent, the supermarket chain still manages to negatively influence purchasing power,’ says Laura Clays. Customers with a SuperPlus card no longer automatically receive a 5 percent discount on those healthy products. Only those who spend at least 99 euros are entitled to a 10 percent discount on fresh products with Nutriscore A and B the following month. ‘This is not a transparent way of communicating’, it sounds.
Also the Brand Festival at Colruyt plays it right at first glance. You can find 137 products cheaper, although it is necessary to buy more than 1 package to get the discount.
“It is very important in these uncertain times to inform consumers correctly about promotions and discounts,” says Laura Clays, spokesperson for Test Aankoop. ‘People are looking for ways to reduce their bills, for example by shopping more cheaply, but with false promotions and misleading information, that task is made very difficult for them. We therefore ask all supermarket chains to always provide correct information and we will also inform the Economic Inspectorate of the false actions that we have encountered in our investigation. Naturally, we have also contacted Carrefour and Albert Heijn about this.’
Although promotions are still a good indication of a lower price, the consumer organization therefore recommends checking the unit price as well. Only in this way can you check whether the promo is really interesting.