Supermarket brands are cheaper in Belgium, regular brands more expensive
Branded products were more expensive in Belgian supermarkets in 2022 than in neighbouring countries, according to a study commissioned by Economy minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne. Own brands, managed by the supermarkets, were cheaper in Belgium.
A shopping trolley filled exclusively with own-brand products was found to be up to 40 per cent cheaper than in the Netherlands. Fresh fruit and vegetables were also significantly cheaper on average than in France and Germany.
However, branded products, which are the same everywhere, were much more expensive in Belgian supermarkets. On average, consumers paid 13.4 per cent more than in Germany, 9.9 per cent more than in the Netherlands and 6.6 per cent more than in France in 2022.
More competition needed
Dermagne wants to increase competition for branded products. Small countries like Belgium have a weak bargaining position, which allows manufacturers to abuse their market power to increase their margins, he said. He plans to put the issue on the agenda during Belgium's EU presidency.
Dermagne also points to the power of consumers, who can fuel competition by themselves. "If consumers start ignoring certain products, it will increase the pressure on producers to lower their prices."
© BELGA PHOTO LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ