How much does food cost in UK stores compared to Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Netherlands?

Shoppers in Britain are paying more for ketchup, toilet paper, mayonnaise and butter than those in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, a study has found.

Supermarket price analysis discovered that cheese, pet food, sugar and toothpaste are also more in the UK than all but one of the other countries in each case.

However the UK is cheapest across the six countries for nappies and frozen pizza and joint cheapest for rice, according to the research by consumer analysts Circana.

When the total price of 23 items was calculated, the UK was fourth most expensive at £51.72 – with Germany the cheapest at £47.25 and France the priciest at £67.57.

One stark comparison was toilet paper at £3.80 in Britain – pricier than £2.66 in Italy, £2.87 in Germany, £3.30 in Spain, £3.33 in the Netherlands and £3.45 in France.

A bottle of ketchup meanwhile was £1.92 in Britain – compared to £1.37 in France, £1.44 in Spain, £1.60 in the Netherlands, £1.76 in Germany and £1.89 in Italy.

Combined price of 23 goods at supermarkets

  1. France – £67.57
  2. Spain – £52.75
  3. Italy – £52.16
  4. UK – £51.72
  5. Netherlands – £50.68
  6. Germany – £47.25

And the UK price for mayonnaise was £1.92 – above the £1.35 in Italy, £1.60 in Spain, £1.61 in France and Germany and £1.71 in the Netherlands.

The final product more expensive in the UK than any of the other countries was butter and margarines at £2.44 – compared to £1.84 in Germany, £2.02 in Spain and the Netherlands, £2.12 in Italy and £2.29 in France.

Cheese was second most expensive in the UK at £2.21, slightly below Spain at £2.31 but above France at £2.19, the Netherlands at £1.37, Germany at £1.55 and Italy at £1.83.

The UK also had the second most expensive pet food at £2.86, below France at £3.18. However it was significantly more than in Germany at 90p, Italy at £1.22, the Netherlands at £1.56 and Spain at £2.02.

The data has been shared with MailOnline by Circana today, after it was originally calculated in partnership with BBC News. The researchers compiled prices in supermarkets and hypermarkets in March, using a conversion rate of €1 to £0.87.

Milk (Fresh, UHT, Milk based, Plant based)£1.55£1.06£2.48£1.19£1.24£1.36
Crisps & Snacks£1.42£1.27£1.63£1.59£1.24£1.38
Pet Food£2.86£0.90£3.18£1.22£2.02£1.56
Butters & Margarines£2.44£1.84£2.29£2.12£2.02£2.02
Laundry Detergents & Aids£4.40£4.46£7.20£3.87£2.33£4.31
Toilet Paper£3.80£2.87£3.45£2.66£3.30£3.33
Baby Food (Food, Milk & Drinks)£2.28£1.55£3.17£1.85£1.87£2.14
Frozen Pizza£1.92£2.18£2.83£2.75£2.62£2.51
Cooking Oil£3.52£3.09£4.12£3.97£4.75£3.99
Dish Detergent£2.31£1.98£2.66£2.24£2.42£2.53
Canned Fish£1.62£1.46£2.05£3.15£2.51£1.84
Frozen Vegetables£1.47£1.52£1.91£1.95£1.27£1.26
Nappies & Diapers£5.57£8.03£12.43£8.06£9.70£6.32
Sugar & Sweeteners£1.39£1.02£1.55£1.30£1.21£1.24
Circana data shows price per unit in supermarkets and hypermarkets in March 2023. Conversion is €1 to 87p

Ananda Roy, global senior vice president of strategic growth insights at Circana, told MailOnline: ‘Inflationary headwinds from high energy prices, ingredient shortages and poor weather have impacted all major European markets. 

‘Whilst in the UK we’re experiencing higher prices for certain everyday items, at the same we’re paying less than our European counterparts for others.’

‘The data reveals the potential for retailers and brands to do more for hard pressed UK households for whom further prices increases, even if inflation levels out, is simply untenable’.

The experts also pointed out that competition levels are important, because discount supermarkets make up more than 40 per cent of the market in Germany.

Another factor is different eating habits and food production levels in each country, and that the UK imports about 40 per cent of its food.

Circana also noted that France gives food producers more protection, which could be driving up some prices in supermarkets there.

Circana added that the UK research does not include discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl – which together account for 17 per cent of the UK grocery sector – but does cover about 80 per cent of the market in the other countries. 

In France today, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said 75 big food industry players had pledged to lower prices on hundreds of products starting next month, adding that they would be at risk of financial sanctions if they broke the promise.

The Office for National Statistics currently puts food and drink price inflation at 19 per cent

The Office for National Statistics currently puts food and drink price inflation at 19 per cent

The minister was speaking on BFM TV after the firms made the commitment yesterday in a meeting with him.

UK food inflation struck 19.3 per cent in April, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), remaining near the 45-year-high of 19.6 per cent recorded the previous month.

The soaring inflation in Britain has particularly included sharp increases in the price of staples such as milk, bread and eggs.

Overall UK annual inflation slowed to a 13-month low in April, but remains elevated at 8.7 per cent as increasing food prices offset weaker energy costs.