Report finds supermarket value packs cost more than single items

29 September 2010

negative-discountUh-oh! Two supermarkets have been given a slap after being accused of illegally misleading shoppers over their pricing of some "great value" multi-packs of goods.

Asda and Sainsbury's have been caught selling us value packs of stuff  which have been found to be more expensive than single versions of the same item. The watchdog Which! who have done the report have reported the two supermarkets to trading standards.

One example is a triple pack of Sainsbury's Naturally Sweet Sweetcorn, which carried a label saying "bigger pack better value". Alas, if you bought three individual tins of the stuff, not only would you be displaying a fondness for a disgusting foodstuff, but you would have saved 4p.

Asda have been at it too, when it was discovered that you could save 22p for buying individual packs of Cathedral City cheese over the promoted "great value" twin pack of the same product. Of course, these are only two examples to highlight what was going on with many products.

Apparently, both supermarkets have now rectified their prices.

A Sainsbury's spokesman said to the Guardian: "We reject the accusation that we have illegally misled customers … human error occurred." Asda, meanwhile, have said "honest mistakes can happen" and "on occasion bigger packs can fall out of line [on price]".

None of this will come as a surprise to avid and longstanding readers of this mighty organ, and our high profile investigations into Tesco and their yellow label scandals. No doubt Which! were thumbing through their back issues of Bitterwallet and copied the idea. We imagine.

TOPICS:   High Street News


  • Mel
    Typing error in the title confused me there, I thought you'd started writing like teenagers.
  • Tim
    I've noticed this a lot with multi packs and special offers. Tins of tomatoes especially for some reason. That's why I look at the small print under the price which tells you how much it is per 100g/kg/item/whatever. That's the actual value figure (assuming it's correct, which sometimes it isn't). Pick the one with the lowest figure (that is actually edible). Don't look at the big sticker drawing your attention to what you think is a bargain. It's there to make them more money or clear stock. Simple as that.
  • PokeHerPete
    Jesus, why do enterprise companies like Asda and Sainsbury use such shit software. Not being able to enter a negative amount is a basic check. These tarded software companies need to do some testing before sending them the invoice for £3 million.
  • PokeHerPete
    Then I realise that the photo is not a Asda or Sainsburys sign. How silly do I feel now. My rant still stands.
  • dearieme
    someones been watching year old episodes of watchdog on uk gold again?
  • Father J.
    I buy all my groceries on Amazon so beat THAT, pop pickers.
  • Darren
    Sainsbury's had this the other week I was in there, 4 single branston bean tins were cheaper than the 4 pack by about 30p.
  • Learn C.
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