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The cost of Milk shown to vary 87pct across Spain

Source: FACUA - Sat 19th Oct 2013
The cost of Milk shown to vary 87pct across Spain

Consumer action group FACUA has reported differences of up to 86.8% (46 cents per litre) in the price of a carton of UHT whole cow's milk. It's one of the results from a comparative study regarding the prices of 21 brands across 6 supermarket and hypermarket chains.

The study, carried out in Alcampo, Carrefour, Dia, Hipercor, Lidl, and Mercadona, compares the prices of 33 products of UHT whole milk, sterilised and fresh milk, in both plastic and carton containers of sizes 1.5 litres, 1.2 litres, and 1 litre. The visit to the stores took place on the 29th of August 2013.

Average prices per litre

The average price per litre for a carton of whole UHT milk is 70 cents for a litre carton, 88 cents for a 1.5 litre plastic bottle (€1.32 on average per bottle), and €0.59 for a 1.2 litre bottle (71 cents on average per bottle). As for the 1.5 litre carton, the only brand analysed was Celta, with an average of 76 cents per litre (€1.15 for the carton).

As for the litre of whole sterilised milk, the average price is 77 cents for the 1.5 litre plastic container (€1.16 per bottle). With regards to fresh milk, the average price per litre is €1.31 in a litre plastic bottle; from €1.06 for the 1.5 litre plastic bottle (the bottle of Puleva at €1.59, the only one in this category); and from €1.25 for the litre carton (only Auchan).

Differences of up to 86.8%

According to the study carried out by FACUA this August, the price of a litre carton of UHT whole milk ranges from 53 cents for Pulgar in Alcampo and Carrefour Discount in Carrefour up to 99 cents for President in Hipercor, a difference of 46 cents (86.8%).

In the Celta 1.5 litre carton of UHT, the only brand analysed in this category, differences of up to 3 cents per litre (4.5%) have been found, from the 75 cents per litre in Alcampo to the 78 in Hipercor (€1.12 and €1.17 for the carton, respectively).

Regarding the UHT variety in the 1.5 litre plastic bottle, the prices go from 85 cents per litre for Puleva in Carrefour (€1.27 for the bottle), to 93 cents per litre for Asturiana in Carrefour, Hipercor, and Mercadona (€1.39 for the litre and a half), a difference of 8 cents per litre (9.4%).

In the 1.2 litre plastic bottles of the same variety, the cost lies between 79 cents per litre for Asturiana in Alcampo (95 cents for 1.2 litres), and 99 cents per litre for Rνo in Carrefour (€1.19 for the bottle).

The most significant price differences have been noted in the varieties of fresh milk in 1 litre plastic bottles: from the 97 cents for the Hacendado brand in Mercadona to the €1.79 for Puleva in Hipercor (a difference of 82 cents).

The same brand varies from 0% to 12.2% depending on where you buy it

In the litre cartons of UHT whole milk that are sold in more than one store, a consumer can find that the prices of one brand can range between 0 and 10 cents. This can be seen in the case of Puleva, whose litre carton can be found at its cheapest for 0.82 Euros in Dνa, and for 0.92 in Hipercor, which represents a highly reduced rate of 12.2%.

In the 1.5 litre plastic bottles of UHT milk, the biggest differences were found in the brand Asturiana at 6.9% (6 cents per litre): from the 87 cents per litre it costs for the bottle in Alcampo (€1.30) to the €1.93 per litre in Carrefour, Hipercor, and Mercadona (€1.39 per bottle). For the same 1.2 litre option the most notable variation is seen in the Pascual brand: there is a gap of 11ccents between the 88 cents it costs for a litre in Alcampo (€1.05 for the bottle) to the 99 cents in Hipercor (€1.19 for the bottle), a difference of 13.3%.

Yearly developments

FACUA has also detected a yearly rise of 7.8% in the price of a litre carton of UHT milk.

Since August 2012, when a litre of whole milk cost 64cents, up until last August, when the cost was 69cents, the price has risen an average of 5 cents.

Throughout the last twelve months, the cheapest average price of milk was in September 2012, when it stood at 63 cents. The highest of the last 12 months was in February and March of 2013, when the litre carton reached 71 cents on average.

The most significant price differences were seen in February 2013: the 72 cent gap between the 50 cents per litre for the brand LR in Alcampo to the carton of Pascual in Carrefour which cost €1.22, a percentage difference of 144%.

The 21 brands compared were Aliada, Asturiana, Auchan, Carrefour, Carrefour Discount, Celta, Covap, Dia, El Pulgar, Finesa, Hacendado, Hipercor, La Vaquita, LR, Milbona, Pascual, President, Puleva, RAM, Rνo and Tierra Pinares.

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