How much do we save on our purchases by shopping down? Our comparison

In order to reduce the amount of the receipt at the supermarket, more and more households are practicing “shopping down”. We compare the products.

According to INSEE figures, inflation reached an average of 4.9% in France in 2023, with prices rising by almost 20% in two years. The Nielsen Institute indicates that the departments where prices have risen the most are poultry, offal, cold meats and frozen meat departments (+30%), ahead of oils (+20%) and cream products. Last year, many brands committed to blocking the prices of several thousand everyday products. But in 2024, the price of certain references started to rise again. An increase that is hard to absorb for many French people, especially since promotions are limited for certain hygiene products, according to the new Descrozaille law, which came into force in March.

So now is the time to start saving money. Among the solutions, Trading down. This is a method that you are definitely practicing without knowing it, which consists of favoring distributor brands over larger brands, which are obviously more expensive. According to figures from the Circana Institute, 44.9% of goods bought in supermarkets today are private label brands. You know these brands well: Classic at Carrefour, Pâturages or Saint Éloi at Intermarché, U for Système U or even Marque Repère at Leclerc. So what savings do we make by practicing this technique? Here is our comparison of several everyday products:

Product Great brand Private label
Baby diapers size 2

Pampers Harmony: 19.89 euros (48 nappies)

Carrefour Baby: 10.69 euros (60 units)
Spaghetti Spaghetti Panzani: 2.05 euros (1 kg) Carrefour spaghetti: 1.55 kg (1 kg)
Dry hair shampoo Ultra Doux Garnier: 3.39 euros (250 ml) Nectar of Beauty Carrefour: 1.65 euros (250 ml)
Washing clothes Ariel: 12.08 euros (1 L) Apta (Intermarché): 4.49 euros (1.265 L)
Soft butter President: 2.69 euros (250 Pastures (Intermarche): 2.18 euros (250 g)
Mineral water 6x1L Evian pack: 3.18 euros 6x1L Auchan pack: 1.86 euros
Frozen ground beef Charal: 11.99 euros per box with 10 pcs Auchan: 9.99 euros per box of 10

The savings vary depending on the product and supermarket, but the difference is significant. It can reach more than 5 or 6 euros, or even more than 10 euros, on expensive products like detergent or baby diapers. Of course, buying a distributor brand does not exempt you from checking any promotions (a bigger brand can then turn out to be cheaper!), the benefits associated with the loyalty card or even the reductions associated with buying large packages. Be careful with waste though, part of the pack of 24 yoghurts may well end up in the bin, unless you have a large family.

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