To begin with I felt that food on France would be expensive and didn’t look too hard. Lately I have started taking a bit more note and am beginning to wonder what is going on. After coming home from a medium sized supermarket in Cluny, a small rural town, I took these items out of the shopping bag and photographed them on the stove.
Using the Pick and Pay shopping site, selecting similar products and converting at R 10/Euro shows the following
Clover Cream R26.99 / 500ml equivalent to 53.98 R/l compared to 40.00 R/l Bakers East Sum More R12.49 per 200g equivalent to R62.45 per kg compared to 47,60 R/kg Free Range Eggs R1.80 each compared to R 2,60 each Pick and Pay Pure Ground Coffee R46.99 per 250 Gr equivalent to R187.96 per kg compared to 36,00 R/kg Pongracz Cap Classique R89.99 per bottle compared to 52.50 R/bottle Carrots R5.69 a bunch compared to R18.00 a bunch, but who knows the size of the bunch.
There is much to be looked at, for instance these are low price items although of quality at least as good as any in South Africa and in particular those costed here. There are always higher priced articles of different quality eg sparkling wine at R250 a bottle and coffee at R45 a packet, the best steak costs R 200/kg and of course one an buy Wine at R1 000s a bottle.
Adding to the complexity you can get a 3 course midday dinner at a restaurant in town for €10 to €12 if you select the special and that’s not a small helping! A very drinkable bottle of red wine such as Cote de Rhone can cost as little as €1.30, a traditional French bread costs €0.80 and a good French goat cheese as little as €1.50 so thats lunch for three at €3.60 or R12.00 each.
Of course this is not a comprehensive or accurate comparison – maybe I will have a further look and report on prices more rigorously sometime. Anyone interested in this could contact me.
I do, however, think it does two things:
It contradicts the perception that food is cheap in South Africa Raises the question, given low wages and agricultural potential, of why South African prices are high.