This is an ordinary consumers (me) amateur study of prices of everyday commodities,in two branches of a specific, european wide supermarket group called Lidl.
It comparing prices in just two stores, one located in a small town called Oloron in the Pyrenees mountains where I holidayed in July 2005, ( south of France), and one located in the capital of Ireland ,Dublin.
My knowledge of these stores in different parts of Europe is restricted to Austria,France Germany and Ireland.
General observations; They appear to have a policy of sourcing as much grocery items as possible from the particular country in which their stores are located. Likewise with wines.In large countries like France this would be subdivided into regions.For example the stock of wines in the south of france branches would more reflect the produce of that region while still carrying a limited general stock from different regions in the country, and even Australian American and Chilean wines,giving the consumer a wide choice.
This makes sense as purchasing locally sourced products reduces their transport costs considerably.
Nevertheless even in countries as geographically isolated as Ireland they appear to have a hugely efficient delivery structure,given the enormous cost of transporting goods across the most expensive ferry route in Europe -the irish sea.
Ireland appears to be a particularly difficult operational area for them in sourcing local confectionery,meat,dairy products and fresh vegetables.
I note that much of their confectionery-and some of their food items such as factory prepared frozen fish and pork pies etc, and particularly excellent value quality cheddar cheeses; incredibly appears to be from (sterling!) british based manufacturers.
Much of the remainder ,items like frozen pizzas and packaged ham, cooked meats,gourmet bread, etc from as far afield as Italy and Germany.
Some of the items I have listed are not availible in the irish stores,some are.I have indicated this where necessary and have only compared identical products and their pricing structures which appear to me to be reasonable in the differential of operating in one of the most expensive countries in the world in which to run a business of any nature..
The party is cheaper by far in France.
Lidyl France price Lidyl Irish price
1 litre glass bottle pure orange juice: 69cents (Equiv quality not Availible in Ireland)
One and a half litres of pure orange juice: 63cents irish price 99cents 50% more
Premium Pils can(half litre) beer 50cents irish price € 1-15cents
Bottle Chilean red wine, € 1-29cents irish price € 4-99cents
FRENCH WINE A.C.QUALITY € 1-90CENTS N.A.Ireland
2 LITRE MINERAL WATER 17CENTS IRISH PRICE 65CENTS -4 times the price!
Litre and a half sparkling mineral water 26cents irish price 49cents
6 pack (half litre) mineral water 89cents irish price € 1-79cents
4 choclate chip muffins € 1-29 irish price € 1-59cents
Iced marbled cake € 1-59 irish price € 1-79cents
1 kilo tomatoes € 1-39 irish price € 2-78cents -double the price!
Large Lasagne Bolognese € 2-99 irish price € 3-79cents
Superior baked ham(no added water)Kilo € 6-75(italian) irish price(german) € 11-89cents
Gruyere cheese,kilo € 6-29 N.A.Ireland
Ciabatta bread (italian) sealed package € 99cents irish price 99 cents No change!
Dutch Edam cheese,kilo €4-89 irish price € 5-80
box(round) french Camembert € -95cents irish price € 1-59cents more than 50% extra
Goats milk 180 grams round in wrapping only €1-00 N.A. Ireland (pity, its lovely.!)
butter250 gms, 89cents and € 1-09. irish price 454 gms € 1-42cents 33% extra!
natural yogurt 6 pack(900 grams) 65 cents N.A.Ireland similiar quality irish product 100% extra
pizza Mozerella (2 pack) € 2-79cents irish price N.A.
fresh chicken class A kilo €2-35cents irish price €2-49cents
Sirloin steak, kilo € 13-49cents ( never stocked in irish stores?)
Leg of new Zealand lamb,kilo € 8-13cents (rarely in irish stores) But Availible in Sainsburys Newry.
Fresh eggs,10 pack € 79cents irish price €1-25cents 50% extra
sugar,1 kilo 89cents irish price 86cents 3 cents cheaper in Ireland!!
Spagetti 500 grams 25cents irish price 27cents minimal difference here.
Pasta,kilo, 89cents irish price € 1-19cents
Biscuits orange/cherry 300 grams 95cents irish price € 1-29cents
Pure butter tea biscuits2x 200gms twin pack 69cents Bargains like this not offered in Ireland.
Bar choclate 200grams € 1-25cents irish price € 1-29cents (not so bad)
Pizza Marguerita(3 pack ) 900grams € 1-69cents irish price € 2-49cents 80% extra
natural yogurt 500 gram tub, 59cents irish price 59cents No change!
Fruit flavours 500 grams 59cents irish price 89cents 50% extra
My only general comment is that precious little appears to be sourced in Ireland.And who can blame them for that.Soon we will be importing everything -except our sirloin steak and creamery butter-from France Germany and Italy. 'Rip off Ireland 'is a doomsday scenario if the yankees ever leave our shores.!
Tax upon tax, as Europe's workers pay for one subsidy after another;
The fact that Fianna Fail (Mary Coughlan) have,in July 2005, announced grants of taxpayers funds, estimated to amount to one billion euros to Ireland's 120 thousand farmers, and piggeries to reduce the long standing nitrate /sileage pollution of our rivers ,lakes,and drinking water, should be a cause for celebration. This exercise is taking place at the eleventh hour only because Brussels have threatened Ireland with massive fines for dragging their heels on this issue for the past decade. Given the case that most of these farmers produce appears to be unmarketable in Ireland, (and Europe),we would all be far better off if these parasites just took their decoupling pensions and setaside payments and discontinued farming activity completely. Instead they further drain the pockets of our citizens,to pay for beef shipped off to Egypt ,Libya,and other exotic third world markets at massively discounted (subsidized) prices.
Subsidy heaped upon subsidy. Total madness. Ireland could return to something like a well run country such as Austria (which I visit every year) if a halt was called to this 'government by proxy' of the Irish Farmers Association .
Austria is a green oasis of clean rivers and lakes .(although the farmers still manage to produce saleable beef,cheese and dairy products without getting a fortune in grants from their government)
The public may make submissions to the new 'National Consumer Agency, run by Celia and Michael Martin,but the cut off date is only 3 weeks after it was set up !(July 31st) Presumeably they have enough compaints to be going on with already.. If you are unhappy about these huge price disparities, apparently rip-off prices etc, dont blame Aldi or Lidl. They have to transport produce from Europe by very expensive ferry crossing ,and sell it in a country with enormously high overheads, rates, wages,etc. And they are still cheaper by far than the indigenous rip off supermarket chains.
We have a suggested type letter ;
We the people of Ireland do not need or want or asked for, your quango to be set up. There is much more important legislation awaiting your attention than Grocery Bills Orders, and such like interference with the grocery trade.The arrival of both Aldi and Lidl to our shores has heralded a new era of "competition rather than cartel "as we suffered heretofore. Supermarkets are one of the few areas in the economy at present where real competition is alive and active.We also have the public accounts committee doing a fine job in addressing the more important issues such as wanto waste of public funds. Perhaps you,and Celia etc could re-locate yourself to Michael Noonan's more useful entity.
Yours faithfully, etc
Foreign competition,and rising prices in Ireland cost workers jobs.
Cadbury meltdown (the jobs-not the choclate. A true story of a choc-aholic- voting with his pocket! )
29 October 2006 By Kathleen Barrington (Sunday business post)
I can’t help noticing that recent changes in my family’s chocolate-eating habits happen to coincide with a major downturn in the fortunes of Cadbury Ireland.
I can’t help noticing that recent changes in my family’s chocolate-eating habits happen to coincide with a major downturn in the fortunes of Cadbury Ireland. So I was saddened, but not surprised, to learn earlier this month that Cadbury plans to close its manufacturing plant in north Dublin if a rationalisation plan involving about 450 job cuts is not accepted.
Pressure has been mounting on Cadbury from foreign chocolate imports, particularly since German retailers Aldi and Lidl arrived in the Irish market offering continental-style chocolate at bargain-basement prices.
Last week, for instance, you could buy a 100g bar of Fin Carre milk chocolate in Lidl for 49 cent.