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Scientific economy to help customers make savings

National Academy of Sciences’ Sociology Institute finds cheapest consumer basket

By Vladimir Velichansky

The ability to save money is certainly useful and can present a real challenge, especially in today’s consumer market. There are so many tempting products to choose from and so many brand names, in all possible packaging. Calculating the best deal can take a lot of effort as we stand in the supermarket. Moreover, marketing specialists often use cleverly persuasive methods to attract us towards expensive products.

The National Academy of Sciences’ Sociology Institute recently conducted a survey to compare the price of a consumer basket at Minsk’s largest trading networks. A family of four is envisaged, with alcoholic beverages included for the year.

According to the Sociology Institute’s Director, Igor Kotlyarov, eight chain stores in Minsk were chosen: Almi, Vester, Bigzz, Euroopt, Gippo, Prostor, Rublevsky and Sosedi. “Our price calculations indicated that Euroopt was the cheapest place to buy food,” he notes, adding that prices for some products differ significantly. In comparison to average city prices, Euroopt offers 72 percent lower prices for canned vegetables. Its oilseed and olive oil is 69 percent cheaper, cereals are 65 percent cheaper and fruits are 55 percent cheaper while tea and coffee are lower by 54 percent, frozen fish by up to 40 percent, and juices by up to 36 percent. Its alcoholic beverages are 18-30 percent cheaper than those in the other shops.

Prices for popular non-food products were also recorded, with Euroopt again proving cheapest for washing powder, fabric conditioner, toothpaste, shampoo and other products: around 20-60 percent cheaper than elsewhere.

Sadly, such market information gathering is in its infancy in Belarus. Accordingly, customers often lack objective information with which to plan their budget. Mr. Kotlyarov is convinced that research in the field of Belarusian retail trade will soon develop, especially taking into consideration plans to halt inflation and reduce prices. To make well-considered decisions, the nuances of domestic trade need to be understood. Pleasingly, surveys are a good way to collect data.

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