Migros versus Coop: Which Swiss supermarket has cheaper groceries?
The cost of most consumer goods in Switzerland has risen in the past few months, but which Swiss supermarket chain has the lowest (and highest) prices right now?
The latest Swiss consumer index, which measures how optimistic (or not) consumers are about their finances and the state of the economy in general, is the lowest in 50 years, according to a new analysis released on Tuesday by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
The consumer sentiment has reached its lowest level since the survey began in 1972, SECO reported.
One of the reasons for this pessimism is that prices of goods and services continue to go up, which means households must now spend more than before on most products.
What is the situation ‘in the field’?
News platform Watson set out to find out how much the cost of food and other basic household products has increased in Switzerland between May and October.
While Watson did not analyse costs at discounters like Aldi and Lidl, which are typically cheaper than other retailers, the news site compared prices at Switzerland’s largest supermarket chains, Migros and Coop.
It bought 16 comparable products in both stores, finding that most of the purchased items are cheaper at Migros, where they cost a total of 94.93 francs — a price increase of almost 4.49 francs compared to six months ago.
At Coop, the same products added up to 100.49 francs — 8.47 francs more in October than in May.
Looking at purchases individually, among products that cost less at Migros are eggplant: 1.60 francs at versus 5.15 at Coop; sunflower oil (4.85 versus 5.60); whole chicken (7.95 vs. 10.41); a jar of baby food (1.85 vs 2.20); face cream (2.30 vs 3.10); and cherry tomatoes (3.50 vs. 4.15).
No price differences were found in butter (3.70 francs in both stores) and mozzarella cheese (2.20).
On the other hand, some of the products purchased were cheaper, (and sometimes by much) at Coop: turkey cutlets cost 8.75 at Coop against 19.50 at Migros.
A difference in favour of Coop was also found in sausage for barbecuing (9.60 vs 17.68); cereals (0.87 vs 5.20); and shower soap (3.50 vs 5.20).
In terms of price increases between May and October, this is what the situation at both supermarkets looks like, according to Watson.
- Toilet paper (32 rolls): +4.00 francs
- Mozzarella: +1.07 francs
- Sunflower oil: +0.85 cents
- Face cream: +0.80 cents
- Turkey cutlets: +0.80 cents
- Toilet paper (12 rolls): +1.20 francs
- Cereals: +0.60 cents
- Salad: +0.50 cents
Looking ahead, the most substantial price hikes will be found in energy and health insurance, however.
In the former, your bills could soar by up to nearly 50 percent, depending on where you live. Substantial increases — between 42 and 46 percent — will hit Basel residents, as well as those living in Zug (39 percent).
In other parts of the country, hikes will be lower, but still significant — about 22 percent in Geneva, and 26 percent in Zurich and Lausanne.
Energy in general has registered the highest spike of all the consumer goods: 28 percent.
Within that category, fuel oil went up a whopping 86 percent, gas increased by 58 percent, petrol by 28 percent, and wood by 26 percent.
In terms of health insurance, the rates for KVG / LaMal will jump by 6.6 percent on average in 2023.
Many people, however, will pay more than that — again, depending on where they live.
The highest, above-national-average premiums will hit Neuchâtel (+9.5 percent), Appenzell Innerrhoden (9.3 percent), and Ticino (9.2 percent).
Residents of Zurich will see their premiums increase by 7 percent.
In Vaud and Valais, the rates will hover just below the national average, at 6.1 percent, and in Bern by 6.4 percent. Geneva and Basel, on the other hand, will see their premiums rise by a relatively ‘low’ 4.2 and 3.6 percent, respectively.