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UK Food Pricing

Shopping for weekly food provisions means going to local supermarkets for easily obtainable off-the-shelf foodstuffs. or ordering online. Most supermarkets trade with similar pricing whereas leading brands such as Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s, ASDA, and Lidl’s are the cheapest options.

Meat is especially more expensive than Brazil, as are some vegetables and salads. However, many products are comparable, and others are remarkably cheaper. Here are a few notable groceries included that defy belief:

  • Tuna Chunks (Solid) are sold in tins (can) from just 72p which in Brazil would be approximately R$4,50. The last tins purchased in Brazilian supermarkets cost me over R$10,00 each. The quality and taste of the tuna is excellent. (Exchange rate used 6.15)

  • Milk Chocolate Toffee Whole Nut 300g bar sold at £2.29 which equates to around R$14,08. Milka Bars of similar proportions cost in excess of R$30,00 in Brazil. After trying some of this chocolate I was in cloud nine.

  • Icing covered buns with sultanas and a cherry are a special treat which satisfies special moments with a coffee or your preferable beverage. At just 65p each (R$3,99) they fill the gap and make life that much more pleasant. Don’t know if these are offered in Brazil, but if they are I’m certain they would cost double the price.

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Spain 750ml bottle costs £3.99 (R$24,53). It works out to approximately R$16,35 per 500ml. In other words, currently around 50% off the price of olive oil purchased in Brazil. From personal usage I found the viscosity very good while the taste was authentically awesome.

  • Blackcurrant jam tasted wonderful at £1.79 (R$11,00) per jar. Many jams cost over R$20,00 in Brazilian stores.

  • Large Farmhouse White Bread costs 79p (R$4,85) a loaf. This is larger than Brazilian loaves sold for over R$10,00 a loaf, and the texture and taste are far superior.

These items were bought for lack at home and it became evident the price discrepancies important to share. Why these items are so much more expensive in Brazil got me thinking. Is it because market share is huger, and manufacturers are greedier, or are there some technical details like lack of supply and demand that are not obvious?


When we consider tuna, chocolate, and olive oil can we say these products are imported and therefore taxes charged eat profits potential, henceforth, Brazil cannot compete with European manufacturers?


Chocolate by comparison is produced in Brazil, but even so when we consider the pricing in Brazil, chocolate is more expensive. This detail seems rather strange as there are roughly three times the population in Brazil, and therefore one would think supply and demand is much greater, and turnover must be higher which should mean manufacturers are in a position to reduce pricing based on the higher volume of sales.


Raw materials such a cocoa would be cheaper, as Brazil sells it internationally. It is a commodity and in great demand around the globe! However, the largest quantity produced comes from the Ivory Coast that produces over two-million tons a year. Cocoa is an important part of the Brazilian agricultural economy. In the early 1980s, Brazil produced approximately 430,000 tons of cocoa beans. Today, the volume has dropped to less than 200,000 tons per year.


Fruits are also abundant in Brazil. So, whether strawberry, blackcurrant, or mixed red fruits the prices in England seem to be the same, whereas jam is almost 100% more expensive made and sold in Brazil. Are we to assume that Brazil has to charge higher prices, and if so for what reason? Or is it because there is no workable government formula and fair play policy companies are prepared to follow?


There is a lot to be said about government intervention concerning inflation, as UK regulators generally impose price controls via an 'Inflation-X' formula: - prices are allowed to rise in line with an inflation index less an X% reduction each year to pass on to customers the benefit of improved efficiency.


Even in England of late many people are beginning to feel the pressure and inconsistencies of pricing. However, from hearsay, I have discovered that government subsidies to supermarkets in order to offset any discrepancies are quite common.


It seems that the reason behind so many foreigners liking to live in the United Kingdom is the government’s care for wellbeing by providing financial aid and transparent economical support such as free education and healthcare.


Take care!

Prof. Carl Boniface


Vocabulary builder:

Provisions (n) = supplies, necessities, requirements, foods, rations, eatables, sustenance

Off-the-shelf (idiom) = available as a stock item: not specially designed or custom-made.

Defy (v) = challenge, confront, disobey. Rebel, resist, dare, disregard, treat with contempt

Cloud nine (n) = ecstasy, delight. Joy, bliss, rapture, seventh heaven

Awesome (adj) = overwhelming, grand, breathtaking, splendid, tremendous, remarkable, amazing. Awe-inspiring, astounding

Intervention (n) = interference, involvement, intrusion, intercession, interposition, mediation, intermediation

Henceforth (adv) = hereafter, thus, henceforward, from this time, in the future, consequently

Supply and demand

Cocoa (n) = chocolate, hot chocolate, drinking chocolate


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