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Supermarket Rip Off

Supermarket Rip Off across the UK

Do supermarkets make a billion £ profit from providing so many of us with a fantastic service, or by quietly betraying our trust and ripping us off?

Most people perceive supermarkets as a brilliant way to shop. Everything in one place and great value because they have so much buying power and economies of scale, ‘it must be cheaper?’

Well, yes, they do have incredible buying power and dictate prices to farmers. My family, for instance, grow onions, and last year got £110/tonne from the local buyer, making the family a very small profit. At the same time we see many adverts showing how each supermarket is cheaper than its competitor.

We are encouraged to believe that the supermarket we choose is the best and we can trust them to give us the best deal. I perceive this to mean that they buy for the best price they can and add a small margin to cover costs and make a small profit.

Our onions, however, were on the supermarket shelf priced at, the equivalent of, £850/tonne, a huge increase from £110. And when I bought a glass bowl from a warehouse type Tesco last week, I paid 30% more than my girlfriend at a cookware shop. Not surprising that last year one of the big chains made over £1billion profit.

To me this is a betrayal of trust and I will avoid supermarkets wherever possible. I really hope other people will be a bit more careful and be open for alternatives.

At BigBarn for instance, we can help people find better, cheaper food and in some cases more convenient. Better because buying local means fresher and accountable, cheaper, because seasonal food grown locally has less supply chin cost and more convenient as, for people like me, the supermarket is a great deal further away than the farm shop & butcher.

So please try BigBarn and tell your friends. Simply type in your post code and click on the icons to see who is on your local map. Look out for the ‘£’ sign on icons, meaning cheaper than the supermarket and ask which products are cheaper. The more you shop and communicate, the better the service will become as local producers are encouraged to grow more.

If you are a producer or retailer and interested in getting on our map, we will not rip you off. We are a Community Interest Company meaning we can’t take fat cat salaries or sell out to the highest bidder. Everything we do is in the interest of our ‘producer’ and ‘consumer’ communities.

Or join the food industry yourself and Crop for the Shop!


  1. Jane says:

    There are very few farm shops and local producers near me. And they’re not open the hours I want, and they’re not cheaper.

    Until local producers can be open similar hours to supermarkets, then I am unable to shop at them. Especially when the nearest one seems to be about 20 minutes away in the car, and I don’t have a car.

    So, let’s take a bit of a reality check, shall we?

  2. bigbarnblog says:

    Thanks for your comment Jane and I am sorry to hear there are no local producers near you that compete with the supermarket.

    The reality is that most small shops have had to close because everyone has gone to the supermarket. And producers have stopped producing fruit and veg because supermarkets only deal with big suppliers and middle men who give the small farmers a terrible deal.

    If we want to halt this trend we need to try and change our shopping habits and keep our eyes open for local shops or deliveries starting up.

    To insure you are kept up to date I suggest you register for our post code specific, emailed, newsletter with local news and special offers in your area.

  3. Anthony Lee says:

    Beware also of supermarket bulk packs and “value” lines.

    Just yesterday I bought some Tesco own brand baked beans for 30p a can when I could have bought a pack of four of exactly the same beans for £1.68; that’s 42p a can. Their “value” range often costs more per Kg than their regular range. The smaller packs make them look cheaper.

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