Consumers are wary of the so-called. “Family Basket”, which includes a large number of products under their own brands.
“And how do we know which ones belong to the family basket?” This is the most common question that can be heard in the aisles of supermarkets today. And employees patiently point out a particular brand that consumers should be looking for on the shelves.
This is what the “Family Basket” sign looks like on products belonging to this category
The truth is that on the first day of the Ministry of Development initiative, people seem to be numb and wary of what to expect. In all three stores that we visited, we did not see a large number of customers, rather, on the contrary, the stores looked deserted, and the customers who spoke to us were already holding… small basket compared to what they bought before.
Shoppers have been looking for the special “Family Basket” label on supermarket shelves since morning.
In fact, many did not know what this measure would ultimately entail, as they expected a significant reduction in existing product prices.
Most products are private label supermarkets
First of all, what most people who are looking for products with special labels are interested in is whether they are branded. However, as can be seen from the list posted on special platformwhere “basket” items are listed in all supermarkets, the vast majority of them are “private label” products (i.e. a brand owned by a retail chain).
“The best is always more expensive, isn’t it? Will this ancient law of the market change?” asks a man in front of the price of Spaghetti Basket No. 6 (STM) in the first store we visited. Specific spaghetti costs 0.65 cents, while neighboring brands cost 1.20 euros. But, as the same buyer comments: “That’s what I’ve known all these months, when the prices … we won’t keep up with them. We know the price of supermarket products and that “private label” will always be cheap. The goal was to see if there were any “good” foods on the list. I don’t see this option for spaghetti, which I want to keep buying, among branded products. The same goes for milk. Of course, I gave up the milk that I like and bought a cheaper one in the supermarket, since the difference with others is 50 cents per liter.
It is noted that in the store of this particular network, 15 out of 51 goods “in the basket” are branded, but this is an intermediate case. Others put most of their own brand products in the basket, while some kept the balance closer to 50/50.
No more affordable, but still affordable
“Yes, but these eggs aren’t cheaper than the ones I got three days ago.” This is the second comment (each time about a different product) that supermarket employees hear in the aisles. Apparently, many consumers have not fully understood the shopping cart feature. Because they may have been hoping for lower prices on these products, prices of which have skyrocketed, but what is essentially happening is that supermarkets are committed to keeping the prices of selected products unchanged for as long as the measure is in place, as long as inflation causes large increases in food prices.
As previously announced, in each of the 51 product categories “baskets” there is one at an affordable price, compared to the rest of the codes in the same category. In other words, it is the product with the lowest price in its category based on the prices of each supermarket chain.
In several cases, next to a private label product in a household basket was a brand name in a large offer, but much more expensive in price.
Very competitive prices for brands featured on adjacent shelves
Interestingly, in all three supermarkets that we visited, at the time when people were looking for labels on baskets, the offers for branded products were really massive and impressive. It could be heard at regular intervals over the loudspeakers of a large supermarket in the center of Athens: “Check out the items in the family basket and many other branded items.”
Signs about discounts -50%, -35%, -25% and so on, as well as 1 + 1 gift offers for branded goods were visible on every shelf and in every aisle.
It is significant that pasta “in the family basket” in a particular supermarket (private label in this case) costs 0.62 cents, when today’s offer of perhaps the most branded pasta on the market gives them a -40% discount at a price of 0.74 cents – The price is very economical compared to what consumers have commonly seen in recent months. Even branded Greek coffee (-35%), many branded wines (1+1), shampoo (1+1 as a gift), etc. were also heavily discounted.
Big discounts on branded goods on the first day of the “Family Basket”.
In this particular supermarket, we even saw how baby diapers were in the “Family Basket” at the same time and had a -50% discount. As one supermarket employee told us: “We have more offers than those advertised on TV.” However, most of the consumers we spoke to agree with what the retiree who came in to do his own checks said, as he doesn’t use the internet to check the prices on the site. e-katanalotis.gov.gr.
“Everything looks the same to me. We all hunt for great deals on branded products, and for what we can’t afford, we buy private label products. My pension is 560 euros per month. Looks like I’ll keep saving even more“.
Opinion of market professionals
As for market participants, they note that the basket that consumers saw today will receive improvements depending on the reaction of the public. According to the media, from the well-known Greek supermarket chain Sklavenitis (Σκλαβενίτης), the criteria by which the products were selected in the “basket” were that, firstly, they must be widely distributed products, secondly, they must occupy a significant market share, and thirdly, they must be nationwide. “We also wanted to have a balanced mix of branded and private label products,” the same sources said. And they will almost certainly make some changes to the mix next week, depending of course on the public’s reaction. As for the signage of products, the emphasis will be placed on the site of the Sklavenitis online store, where there is already a special category with the indication “Family Basket”. While the priority, of course, is to complete the price tags in physical stores with special stickers placed on the shelves with Sklavenitis products – “Family Basket”
Sources close to the management of the Masutis retail chain (Μασούτης) expressed particular satisfaction with the North Greek chain’s “Family Basket”, as they note that it is a basket with many branded products that are available at competitive prices. Of the 60 products in the Μασούτης basket, 24 are private label products.
In any case, what people in the sector thought before the introduction of this measure, namely that it would not decisively tackle the problem of rising prices, would unburden households, as might happen with a reduction in VAT on basic foodstuffs, but could create price competition between supermarkets in the interests of the consumer, now, thanks to the explosion of offers for branded products, turned out to be true to a certain extent.
Also, while it was originally decided that the content of the basket would remain constant, it is now expected to be updated every 7 or 15 days.