The Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs notifies the public of the findings of its latest territory-wide food basket survey. The survey was completed during the last week of June and is designed to inform consumers of which stores have the best prices on staple grocery items. The number of items compared on each island varies as a result of comparison guidelines, which require that the same items be compared among the stores in order to produce a valid survey, according to a press release from DLCA.
On St. Croix four stores were surveyed: Pueblo in Golden Rock and La Reine; and Plaza Extra stores in Christiansted and Frederiksted. A total of 42 of the same items were compared at each location. Food basket totals for the four stores were significantly close on St. Croix. Between the highest and lowest priced food basket there was a price difference of only .97 cents. Findings indicate that stores carrying the same grocery items have offered similar prices on a number of items thereby reducing their price gap.
The lowest-priced family food basket was found this month at Pueblo’s Golden Rock location of $111.81. Plaza Extra’s Frederiksted location came in second with a food basket cost of $112.40. Plaza Extra’s Christiansted location came in third with a food basket cost of $112.44. Coming in fourth was Pueblo’s La Reine location with a food basket cost of $112.78.
Survey findings also indicate an increase in uniform pricing amongst the franchise stores. Plaza Extra supermarkets are leading the way in uniform pricing. Of the 42 items surveyed 32 had the same prices offered at both locations. The Pueblo supermarkets had a total of 28 items with the same prices offered.
On St. Thomas four stores were surveyed: Pueblo in Long Bay and Sub Base, Plaza Extra, and Food Center, using a food basket of common items. A total of 35 items were compared at each location. Unlike St. Croix, the difference between the highest-and-lowest-priced food basket indicated a price gap of $24.34, which is the highest since the February food basket survey.
Plaza Extra offered the lowest priced family food basket with a cost of $136.71. Pueblo’s Sub Base store came in second with a food basket cost of $146.41, while Pueblo Long Bay came in third with a food basket cost of $150.37. Food Center came in fourth with a food basket cost of $161.05.
On St. John, three stores were surveyed; Dolphin Market, Starfish Market and Pine Peace Mini Mart. A total of 28 of the same items were compared at each location. The lowest priced food basket was found at Pine Peace Mini Mart at a cost of $60.86. Starfish Market came in second with a food basket priced at $66.54. Dolphin Market came in third place with a food basket cost of $69.33.