New Report Debunks Lack of Competition as Cause of High Grocery Costs in UK’s Jersey
Shoppers on the island of Jersey may find the cost of food and groceries to be higher than in some of the UK’s cheapest supermarkets, but according to the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority’s (JCRA) new report, these costs are not due to a lack of competition
Rather, the high cost of groceries on the island is tied to additional expenses such as freight and labour costs, not excessive profits by local supermarkets. Chief economist Peter Hetherington, JCRA, states: “Competition in the Jersey grocery market is working. Grocery suppliers are not making excessive profits, and comprehensive survey data indicates that Jersey customers are well served by the market.” Additionally, price disparities between Jersey and the UK primarily stem from tax discrepancies, rather than a lack of competition.
The JCRA report notes that Jersey has experienced food price inflation that is consistent with inflation rates elsewhere. In order to further support competitive processes and provide Jersey customers with fairer prices, the JCRA recommends improving price transparency, maintaining a competitive and dynamic groceries market, and reducing freight costs.
Shoppers on the island of Jersey can take comfort in the fact that, while the cost of groceries may be higher than in the UK, the costs are due to additional expenses and not excessive profits from local supermarkets. Yet, policy makers can continue to strive for fairer prices by improving price transparency, maintaining a competitive market environment, and reducing freight costs.