UK shoppers warned of delivery app markup on supermarket goods


06/05/2023
UK shoppers warned of delivery app markup on supermarket goods

Deliveroo, Just Eat, and Uber Eats have been found to charge customers over a third more when ordering a basket of groceries through their apps compared to purchasing directly from supermarkets, according to a recent report by consumer group Which? The study analyzed a basket of 15 items from Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Iceland, and Waitrose, both through the supermarkets’ websites and the delivery apps.

The findings revealed significant price discrepancies, with certain items costing more than twice as much on the apps compared to the supermarkets’ websites. For instance, Warburtons Toastie thick sliced white bread was priced at £2 on Just Eat and Uber Eats, double the price on Iceland’s website. Similarly, Sainsbury’s own-brand Fairtrade bananas were marked up by 106% on the apps, priced at £1.75, compared to 85p on Sainsbury’s website.

Morrisons charged £1.19 for a loaf of Hovis Best of Both medium bread on its website, whereas the same item cost £2.05 through Uber Eats, representing a 72% increase. Overall, a basket of goods cost 34% more on Uber Eats and 15% more on Deliveroo compared to the Morrisons.com site.

The largest price difference for a complete 15-item basket was observed for Iceland’s products, which were 38% more expensive on Just Eat and 32% more expensive on Uber Eats. Sainsbury’s basket of goods cost 28% more on all three tested apps (Just Eat, Deliveroo, and Uber Eats), while Asda’s basket had a 9% higher price on Deliveroo and Just Eat, and a 19% increase on Uber Eats.

It’s worth noting that these price differentials do not include the delivery charges imposed by the apps. Delivery fees vary but typically add at least 50p to the bill, and in some cases, as much as £6 for smaller orders.

Which? emphasized that while grocery delivery apps like Deliveroo, Just Eat, and Uber Eats offer convenience, there is a significant cost associated with this convenience. Ordering directly from a supermarket’s website also incurs delivery charges, with minimum spending requirements ranging from £25 at Sainsbury’s and Morrisons to £40 at Asda, Iceland, and Waitrose.

The surge in fast-track delivery apps during the pandemic has since subsided, with physical stores experiencing a resurgence amid the ongoing cost of living crisis. This suggests that many households have shifted away from online shopping.

In response to the report, Waitrose defended its pricing strategy, stating, “Deliveroo offers a convenient service for our customers who want Waitrose food and drink within 30 minutes. Our prices are clearly marked on their app and are a fair reflection of the costs involved in running this service, including assembling and packing orders.” Other delivery apps, including Asda, Sainsbury’s, Uber Eats, and Just Eat, attributed pricing to factors such as the speed and convenience of the service and individual merchants setting their own prices.

The report serves as a reminder to consumers to carefully consider the overall costs before opting for grocery delivery apps, taking into account both product prices and delivery charges.

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