Cheapest food basket in South Africa – Pick n Pay vs Checkers vs Woolworths

An analysis by Daily Investor showed that Pick n Pay and Checkers are much cheaper than Woolworths for a basket of ingredients for a South African breakfast.

There is a fierce battle between South Africa’s top retailers in the online shopping market, with Checkers Sizty60, Pick n Pay asap!, and Woolies Dash fighting for market share.

Pick n Pay CEO Sean Summers said Pick n Pay is improving its offers to win back the hearts of South African shoppers.

“We will focus on our products and services to improve the offer and drive sales. The aim is to reinstate a more competitive offer matched to customers’ needs,” he said.

It includes becoming more competitive through consistent competitive pricing and promotions across the business.

However, Pick n Pay is up against formidable opponents, including Checkers and Woolworths Food.

Millions of South Africans prefer Checkers as their food retailer, and its Sixty60 grocery delivery service is the undisputed market leader.

Woolworths Food is far ahead of its competitors in the high-end food market and its Woolies Dash same-day delivery service is gaining in popularity.

One of the biggest battlegrounds for food retailers is price. South African households are under financial pressure, and price is a deciding factor for many shoppers.

With this in mind, Daily Investor created a basket of ingredients for a South African breakfast and compared the online prices at Checkers, Pick n Pay, and Woolworths.

The South African breakfast basket of food products contained the products below.

  • 2.5kg Iwisa Super Maize Meal
  • 2.5kg Selati Pure White Sugar
  • 1kg Cerebos Iodated Table Salt
  • 2-litre Sunfoil Canola Oil or store-brand
  • 2-litre Douglasdale full-cream milk or store-brand
  • 18-pack large eggs store brand
  • 1kg Tomatoes
  • 1kg Brown Onions
  • 700g loaf of Sasko Premium Sliced White Bread or store-brand
  • 700g loaf of Sasko Premium Sliced Brown Bread or store-brand
  • 450g Rhodes Superfine Apricot Jam or store-brand
  • 500g Flora 50% Regular Fat Spread
  • 200g Nescafé Classic Instant Coffee
  • 20 Pack Freshpak Pure Rooibos Tagless Teabags
  • Rooikrantz Thick Boerewors per kg or store-brand
  • 200g Streaky Bacon Eskort or store-brand
  • 1kg Jungle Oats Original Porridge

The three most expensive items in the basket were the boerewors, coffee, and cooking oil. The brown and white bread were the least expensive ingredients.

All ingredients came to R842.33 at Pick n Pay, beating Checkers by a mere 50c at R842.83. The Woolworths basket was R66 more expensive at R906.82.

Notably, when it came to branded and essential items, like sugar, maize meal, salt, jam, and oats, Woolworths’ prices compared quite favourably, sometimes lower than the other two retailers.

The company’s private name brand did tend to be more expensive than the other two retailers, with some products like boerewors (per kg) and eggs being over R25 more expensive than the other stores.

Woolworths’ produce was also more expensive than Pick n Pay and Checkers.

No specials or price deals were considered when making the price basket, only the listed online price on the retailers’ websites.

Breakfast price basket changes

The chart below shows how Pick n Pay, Checkers, and Woolworth Food compared on the breakfast food backet.


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