The cost of living in Spain has been steadily rising over the past year, with one area that's been hit particularly hard being the supermarket. Despite the government's reduction of the VAT rate on some products at the beginning of the year, most stores have raised their prices, leaving consumers feeling the pinch each time they shop for groceries.
French supermarket chain Carrefour is one of the retailers that has recently hiked up its prices considerably in Spain. However, in an effort to make amends with its customers, the company has implemented a price cap on more than 200 basic products in its stores across the country. This move follows similar measures already taken in France.
The Bank of Spain is warning that food costs will continue to rise, making it increasingly difficult for families to make ends meet. To help mitigate this, Carrefour has launched a new offer called "The Lowest Prices," which will be available until June 21.
The promotion will see hundreds of basic products available at low prices. The list includes all the most common family purchases like preserves, eggs, milk, rice, legumes, potatoes, oil, cereals, and cleaning products.
The supermarket claims that consumers can save around 18.8% in the cost of their shopping basket, which annually could mean a saving of 1,056 euros per family.
In addition, the chain also put a further 5,000 products on sale throughout the year via their 3 for 2 promotions or by offering the products at a 70% reduction. Furthermore, there are another 1,500 products at fixed prices of between 0.99 and 1.99 euros which come under its “Mini prices” policy.
Between January and February of this year, food prices in Spain rose by an average of 1.31% helping to push the country’s overall inflation rate last month to 6%.
By the end of last month, a basic basket of essential items cost around 30 euros.
While some supermarkets have lowered their prices, others have increased them significantly. For example, Carrefour raised its prices by 2.13 euros, while El Corte Inglés and Alcampo saw price increases of 0.78 euros and 0.39 euros, respectively.
Although the government’s VAT reduction may appear to be a little disappointing, it has still managed to reduce food prices by around 10.9% since the end of December when a basic shop would have cost the average consumer 33.67 euros.