Lack of competition not to blame for Jersey's high cost of groceries

The average Jersey household spends 9% of their total weekly spend on a food shop. Credit: ITV Channel

The cost of groceries in Jersey isn't down to a lack of competition, according to the island's watchdog.

The Jersey Competition & Regulatory Authority says while the average cost of a shopping basket is around 12% higher than it would be in the UK, island supermarkets "are not making excessive profits" and customers are "well-served" by the market.

Inflation, higher on-island operating costs for retailers and a lack of 'low-price' suppliers are cited as three of the reasons, driven by the cost of freight, labour and the local tax regime.

Retailers pay approximately 10% more in operational costs on Jersey, but their profits are 'in line with expectations and benchmarks.'

Although a lack of competition is not to blame for high prices, the watchdog suggests that barriers should be removed to allow cheaper retailers to come to Jersey.

The price of a basket of groceries at a Jersey shop is 33% higher than the cheapest UK supermarket.

The average Jersey household spends 9% of their total weekly spend on a food shop, and food prices increased by 14.2% from the start to the end of 2022.

A study into Jersey's groceries market recommended three ways the island can stay competitive:

  • Investment in Jersey's Consumer Council's price comparison council service to encourage greater price based competition

  • Reduce entry barriers for new supermarkets to come to the island

  • Follow up recommendations from the 2021 study into Freight Logistics to reduce freight costs

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