VFI Welcomes Consumer Group Report Condemning Price Hikes and Price Matching - Below Cost Alcohol Supplemented by Increasing Prices for Household Staples
The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) has welcomed this week’s report by the Consumers’ Association of Ireland (CAI) on price hikes and perceived price matching by the country’s biggest supermarkets. The report showed the price for a basket of goods up 12% when compared to June 2011 or €870 per annum per household and backs up VFI claims over the past number of years that the practice of selling cheap alcohol is anything but consumer friendly.
VFI President Gerry Rafter labelled the increases a “disgrace” and the VFI claims the increases are necessary to cover supermarkets selling alcohol at unsustainable loss leading prices.
Mr Rafter said; “We have being watching the supermarkets closely and it is obvious that they have been increasing the price of everyday household goods by stealth and there are strong indications of widespread price matching. Bread, milk, butter, sugar and other prices have increased by up to 15-20% in some cases over the last 18 months. We are convinced this is to compensate supermarkets for selling alcohol below cost as a loss leader to get consumers in the doors in order to rip them off on other essential items. Supermarkets are selling alcohol below the cost publicans can buy it from wholesalers or manufacturers.
“What is happening is totally irresponsible and a disgrace. Hard pressed shoppers are being conned by the big supermarkets that are luring them in with the promise of cheap alcohol. Drink is being sold, promoted and marketed in a totally irresponsible manner in order to get customers to fork out hundreds of euro extra each year on essential food items. This report proves beyond any doubt that cheap alcohol does not make the supermarkets consumer champions. Quite the contrary, as the CAI states, consumers are spending more money for a poorer return despite having less money to spend.”