The basket price of groceries in Spain has increased by 30.8% in the past two years – the highest price rise in the 35 years since the Organización de Consumidores y Usuarios (Organisation of Consumers and Users, or OCU) began conducting its supermarket study.
The trend has continued this year, with the basket price in May 2023 being 14.1% more expensive than it was in the same period last year.
The increase in prices has affected all supermarkets, but some chains have raised prices more than others.
Among the major supermarket chains, E.Leclerc, Supeco, Carrefour Express and BM Urban raised their prices the most in 2023 – by more than 15%. In contrast, Eroski, Eroski City and the Masymas chain raised their prices the least, by less than 10%.
The OCU basket is a set of 155,788 prices of products that make up the most common shopping items, including food, drugstore and hygiene products. The average price of the OCU basket is €6,109, but this can vary depending on where purchases are made.
The difference between the most expensive and cheapest stores in a city can be up to €1,056 per year.
The cheapest cities to buy groceries in Spain are Córdoba and Teruel, while the most expensive cities are Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Madrid, Palma and Getxo, the study found.
The cheapest autonomous communities are Galicia, Murcia and La Rioja, while the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands are the most expensive.
Consumers who choose to shop at the cheapest store can save up to 17.5% of their shopping budget, the study found.
Nine out of ten products in the grocery basket have increased in price, compared to last year. Sugar (+66%) and products such as condensed milk (+61%) and ice cream have seen sharp increases in prices. Elsewhere, some vegetables, such as onions (+40%) and carrots (+56%), have also become dearer.
Spain reduced taxes on food at the beginning of 2023, which caused prices to drop slightly, at first. However, prices quickly began to rise again.
For its study, the OCU visited 1,108 establishments in 65 Spanish cities and analysed the prices of the online supermarkets of the main chains.