While in Sainsburys earlier picking up £2.69 of shopping (fromage frais, apples, rice pudding, orange and grapefruit juice and lots of kidney beans, if you’re curious) I couldn’t help but notice the following:
As someone who buys pretty much the same items every week, spending around a tenner a time, I know the prices of the Sainsburys Basics range by heart. Bread is 50p a loaf, whether white or wholemeal. Chopped tomatoes are 33p for a cardboard carton. Kidney beans are 18p for a tin. Apples are 82p. Sainsburys Basics strawberry jam was, the last time I checked, 29p a jar. Not today. Today it was 35p a jar. People will be rolling their eyes now, that I’m quibbling over 6p, but it’s not the only 6p hike in the Basics range.
^ These were 39p for 6, last time I checked.
Again, I can almost hear the tuts. “Oh, it’s only 6p, what’s she going on about?”
What she’s going on about, is the price of food. Strawberry jam is 120% of the price of strawberry jam two weeks ago. If in some horrible world, the inflation of the price of food carries on at that rate, it will be 42p in a fortnight, and over £40 a jar by the end of the year. Of course that won’t happen, but it’s a demonstrative figure as to how effective that ‘small’ 6p hike could be.
Having worked for one of the ‘big four’ supermarkets myself, I know hpw they work. Essential items like bread and milk are at the periphery of the store, and down the middle is what ASDA used to call ;action alley’, where promotions are piled high and sold cheap. Tins of Christmas chocolates 3 for £10. Crates of beer 2 for £20. Never anything nutritious, or necessary, but marked down and boldly signposted to part unsuspecting shoppers with their hard-earned cash, and all the time, those cheap cheap promotions are offset by hikes in prices to what are supposed to be the cheapest, aptly named ‘basics’ range.
In a ploy indicative of the state of ‘Great Britain’ today, the pockets of the poor are targeted, to subsidise the luxuries of the better off. Tax breaks versus cuts to child benefit. Cheap beer subsidised by inflated fromage frais. Where does it end?