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Surprising ranking of Polish supermarkets (Biedronka expensive?) Living expenses in Poland.


sobieski 107 | 2,128
19 Dec 2013  #1
Before Christmas, in addition to the gifts for our loved ones, money we spend is mostly on food. As every year, we decided to see where all of our food shopping will be the cheapest, and where the most expensive. As in previous editions of our rankings, we compared with one another the major Polish cities and metropolitan areas. As before, in our study we used the price comparison service engine Dlahandlu.pl.

On the basis of available items in the shopping cart we tried to create a set of food products examples that may be needed during the holidays.
In total, 24 different kinds of groceries. Although our shopping cart will not exhaustive of all holiday needs, it is already meaningful and allows to create reports.

This is how our presents the prices basket in all leading retailers in our country, depending on the city or urban agglomeration.
1) Auchan, 2) Kaufland, 3) Carrefour, 4) Real, 5) Intermarche, 6) Netto 7) Lidl, 8) E. Leclerc, 9) Polomarket, 10) Tesco, 11) Piotr i Paweł, 12) Aldi, 13) Stokrotka 14) Biedronka, 15) Alma, 16) Lewiatan, 17) Żabka, 18) Społem

biznes.onet

Interesting article in GW, concerning the shopping cost in Poland's supermarkets. I know from experience that Auchan is cheap...but I find it hard to believe Biedronka would be that so much more expensive...
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
19 Dec 2013  #2
Thanks for posting this. Very much up my street!

Most supermarkets have some things they're expensive for, and some things they're the cheapest for, on a regular basis. Special offers, aside.

Biedronka is cheapest for decent quality black tea (Remsey) along with some frozen fish dishes, white bread, and a range of other things.

And I could list 5 or so other supermarkets and say what's cheapest at each, of course Lidl currently being way ahead for mature cheddar cheese at keen prices, and additive- free kapusta (sauerkraut).

Problem is, few people have time to visit each supermarket and skim off the cheapest stuff. And if they're driving, the fuel is an added expense.
OP sobieski 107 | 2,128
19 Dec 2013  #3
Exactly. We - the people on this forum living and working in Poland that is - do not have time to drive around all the supermarkets. We (our family) just shop at the supermarket which is on the way back home from work I guess. If you would have to for each article go to a different shop.... If you would calculate the fuel cost...We mostly shop at Biedronka, Lidl, Carrefour and for special items in Alma.

P.S. Btw Pamela, why did you not ask me to elaborate me on this Polish-language article?
ShawnH 8 | 1,498
19 Dec 2013  #4
We - the people on this forum living and working in Poland that is - do not have time to drive around all the supermarkets

That might be true of anybody living anywhere in the world...

We (our family) just shop at the supermarket which is on the way back home from work I guess

We have a local shop that I would say is in the upper third as far as general pricing is concerned, but their vegetables are amongst the freshest around, the meat is top quality and if you do have an issue, they have a very friendly return policy.

So, with Biedronka being "expensive", do you still find "value" in the higher costs?
OP sobieski 107 | 2,128
19 Dec 2013  #5
Hmmm, we buy our fruit & veg at the market here in Wolumen. Fresher you don't get, and price wise...I would think they are maybe a bit more expensive as Lidl & Co...but these few zlotys...

There is an old guy there selling eggs with two yokes...at 1 PLN per piece 3x expensive as the eggs you can buy in Lidl...but the taste infinite much better. Real eggs.

Likewise for meat and bread. We have our local shops for that. Rest comes from Biedronka & co.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
19 Dec 2013  #6
Real eggs.

I don't use many eggs but I try to buy free range from small market stalls. In the UK, my neighbour used to give me fresh eggs and the difference in quality was reasonably evident most of the time. Most important to me when buying an egg is that the hens are free range and all consumers should ensure they opt for the same.

As for whether eggs should be stored in a supermarket here at ambient temp or in a chiller -- another poster mentioned it was illegal to store eggs in a chiller or fridge in Poland's supermarkets. Well, I have now started taking note and noticed 2 major supermarkets here have their eggs in both ambient areas and in chilled cabinets. If anyone doubts this, I've taken photos! Yeah I know I'm sad...
ShawnH 8 | 1,498
19 Dec 2013  #7
There is an old guy there selling eggs with two yokes...at 1 PLN per piece 3x expensive as the eggs you can buy in Lidl...but the taste infinite much better. Real eggs.

I get that. Last trip over to PL, we had some fresh (butchered that day) chicken in the countryside village, real free range chickens, and the taste.... my mouth waters with the thought of it. Colours the way our maker intended them to be... Eggs as well..

Here in Canader, we pay a premium for something labeled natural, but you know it isn't even close to natural.
Cardno85 31 | 976
22 Feb 2015  #8
I agree with the OP, I know Auchan is cheap but I really didn't think that Biedronka would be so much more expensive...it is marketed as a discount supermarket after all.

I would say that Biedronka is super value for wine and beer (there's always a really good dry white for the 10-13zl mark and beers, provided you're not so fussy, are pretty cheap and in bigger cans than most places). I have also found that Biedronka's deals are sometimes beyond compare anywhere else. I generally get my normal weekly shop online from Tesco and then anything else I need at the last minute from Biedronka.
Schmiznurf 9 | 31
23 Feb 2015  #9
I don't read Polish but I can only assume that Biedronka being 14 means it is not one of the cheapest. If so, then that is a shame as it is the only supermarket available to me in the small town I live in, with Tesco being a 10-15 drive by car which we don't have.
jon357 63 | 14,122
23 Feb 2015  #10
It generally is cheaper. That article compares prices of a specific basket of shopping which most people simply do not buy.
Kamaz
24 Feb 2015  #11
I wish my local Biedronka would stock the purple label Kadarka......they only do the red label, the pink and the white...
Cardno85 31 | 976
24 Feb 2015  #12
That article compares prices of a specific basket of shopping which most people simply do not buy.

I noticed the basket of shopping they were judging on had a few specific brand names in there, in those cases your biggest supermarkets are going to be able to outprice smaller discount supermarkets. In which case I would say if you bought Biedronka oil instead of Kujawski or Biedronka water instead of Zywiec you can make a pretty fine saving there alone.

Plus, what size of amily shopping are they testing for...1kg of yellow cheese...that would do my sandwiches for a month!!
Krzei
23 Aug 2015  #13
moved from another thread

all at Biedronka:

Filet Mix 100g
Salatka Active x 2
Pierogi 400g x 2
Potatoes 2kg
Polaris water 1.5L x 6
Corn 285g x 2
Tuna x 2
Mixed frozen veggies 750g
Couscous
Hamburgers

this and even something more I can get with 60 zl.
Mind that during the day from monday to friday water, coffee, milk and porridge I've them for free in the company
InPolska 11 | 1,821
23 Aug 2015  #14
@Krzei: be aware that Indians don't eat Polish food. And sorry, Biedronka is not the best quality of food (I never go there). I suppose you are very young and don't mind eating crap. Most people that I know (including Poles) spend much more than I do. I suppose that I spend around 200zl a week (I have not really counted). Also as I had cancer, I am particular now very fussy about food and prefer to spend more for better food.

Besides, what's the point of living abroad on a surviving budget? This beats me.

You just live on starches and industrial food. No real meat, no fresh fish, no fresh vegetables, no fresh fruit, no (quality) cheese, no diary products.... Sorry, but this is not healthy. You eat like a student. Believe me, older people and more so when they have kids, have to eat better.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
23 Aug 2015  #15
And sorry, Biedronka is not the best quality of food (I never go there).

Biedronka is excellent for meat in general (they've got quite a high reputation for demanding a lot from their suppliers, and I've never had any problems with bad meat from there). Some of their dry produce is excellent as well, such as cous cous and pasta.

Interestingly enough, I've had more problems from Piotr i Paweł and Alma with rotten meat.
Krzei
23 Aug 2015  #16
@InPolska
that's true, although I think Biedronka is badly underrated in terms of quality.

I don't have intolerances or such, but I can tell you I lived as a 30yo guy in the North of Italy and used to spend 25 EUR a week for food from discount supermarkets (and anyway well enough), and even my italian friends told me that I wasn't cheap at all and they used to live on 20 EUR month buying everything at the supermarkets without food from family or such.

What, it appear that Italy is cheaper than Poland in supermarket food? :)

I agree that an indian can't think to live below local standards in Poland like they can in Dubai or Berlin, here without family and without eating a lot of local food you spend a lot.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
23 Aug 2015  #17
@Del and Kzei: do you only eat starches?

@Krzei: if you are from Italy, I suppose that you can eat pasta and noodles every day but don't tell me you can eat the "makaron sh@@@t" they eat in Poland! Italian pasta is relatively expensive by Polish standards and does not fit in your budget ;). You eat like a student and please be aware that if ok for a few months or couple of years, it is not healthy in the longer run and of course Indians (either single or with family) shall not eat this kind of diet. They'll stick to their home food and therefore buy imported stuff.

@Del: unfortunately at stores such as Biedronka and consorts, there are a lof of industrial crappy foods that are not healthy. I suppose ok to buy some fruit, some vegetables (in summer I prefer to buy from street sellers)... I personally don't eat much meat, and when I do, it's only chicken breast, turkey and veal so I don't mind spending a few more ZL in good stores.

@Krzei: true if we don't eat local, we spend a lot of money (my case because I buy a lot of products from abroad, from home or elsewhere). I don't like traditional Polish food and it is normal that at least once in a while we want to buy products from home ;). Indians as a result won't eat Polish food and won't spend 60 ZL/week ;)
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
23 Aug 2015  #18
@Del and Kzei: do you only eat starches?

No no, fruit/vegetables are bought from the local shops/sellers.

@Del: unfortunately at stores such as Biedronka and consorts, there are a lof of industrial crappy foods that are not healthy.

Oh yes. I've almost made a hobby out of watching what utter crap people buy. Watching some woman looking wrecked in her 50's buying expensive (compared to cooking from scratch) junk for her grandchildren is just mindblowing - 2L of fake Coca-Cola, endless (white) bread products, sweet as hell yoghurts and much much more. What surprises me is that their junk is far more expensive than creating a decent salad from the stuff sold in the local greengrocer.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
23 Aug 2015  #19
@Del: 100% true! All these industrial craps are new in Poland and that's why so many people buy them. Well, mods told us we are wandering away so back to topic ;).

An Indian family of 3 + relatives to sponsor back home shall not make it on 5,000 brutto. And no, employers just don't double salaries because applicants want double money. It does not work this way. If Indian X does not want the job then Indian or Pakistani Y shall take it.
smurf 39 | 1,982
23 Aug 2015  #20
Biedronka is not the best quality of food (I never go there)

HOw do you know if you don't go there? LOL

What a ridiculous thing to write.

Mmmm...there are worse employers out there....

What's the deal with Amazon? They bad to work for?
InPolska 11 | 1,821
23 Aug 2015  #21
@Smurf: I did buy a few things in the past and I have eaten some more stuff from biedronka at people's so not hard to know that it is poor quality. Maybe 10% of their things are ok and that's all. The Portuguese owner is no philanthropist and therefore if his prices are lower, it is not out of pure generosity but simply because his crap is not worth more.

Biedronka is the no.1 store in Poland just because of its prices as most people cannot afford any better not because it's the best.
Krzei
23 Aug 2015  #22
My feeling instead is that Biedronka has the look of a discount store, but prices and quality are e.g. higher than Tesco.

Biedronka = Cheap Low Quality is an equation that stayed as a cliche
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
23 Aug 2015  #23
Biedronka is the no.1 store in Poland just because of its prices as most people cannot afford any better not because it's the best.

They actually aren't very cheap - a lot of stuff is actually a bit more expensive than big supermarkets such as Auchan. I think it's rather that they understood the Polish "local shop" mentality and stuck them absolutely everywhere they could as opposed to building large supermarkets from scratch. Unlike the competition, they seem to have embraced putting them in old buildings, underground, everywhere.

For instance, I don't remember the exact numbers - but olives in Auchan are something like half the price of Biedronka.
kpc21 1 | 763
24 Aug 2015  #24
I wouldn't say that the quality of the products in Biedronka is low. Although in terms of fruit and vegetables, it's definitely better to buy fresh ones from local greengrocer's ("warzywniak", "zieleniak") or from a local market.

Biedronka started to advertise themselves as a place where you can buy high quality products for low prices some time ago. They fight with this connotation "Biedronka = low quality". And shops like Auchan or Real seem to be more messy inside than Biedronka.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
24 Aug 2015  #25
I don't like Auchan although I do like Simply, which belongs to same (Adéo) group (incl. Décathlon, Merlin Leroy...). When working at Willanow on my way back home, I shop at Simply (very nice store, at least the one at Willanow because I have realized that the area matters a lot).

I prefer Leclerc (go often to their Popularna store). I have just discovered their store at Ursynow (Galeria KEN = Al. KEN) and it's really great and huge. I have started returning to Carrefour as some of their stores are close to great. I no longer go to Tesco's because gone to the dogs. Otherwise, I go to Piotr & Pawel, to Społem (although none close to my home) and to small neighborhood shops. I rarely go to Alma's (only when there is one where I happen to be and I need to buy things). In summer, I buy fruit and vegetables from street vendors. Although the Leclerc Ursynow store is not close to where I live, I'll go there once in a while because really great.
smurf 39 | 1,982
24 Aug 2015  #26
I did buy a few things in the past and I have eaten some more stuff from biedronka at people's so not hard to know that it is poor quality.

If you say so.
I'll remain the doubting Thomas though.

The Portuguese owner is no philanthropist and therefore if his prices are lower, it is not out of pure generosity but simply because his crap is not worth more

I shop in Tesco, Alma, Lidl, Biedronka, Piotr i Pawel. Re: price, Biedronka isn't the cheapest for sure. It's cheaper on some things, more expensive on others.

Lild wins cheapwise. Alma is good if you're looking for some particular cheese or wine etc. But you'd have to be bonkers to do a full shop there.

I prefer Leclerc

Terribly expensive and always pushing French products on people. They're thinking being, the crap we can't sell at home we'll flog in Poland coz they'll think it's posh. There's a Leclerc close to my house and it's always full of geriatrics; has nice cakes though, but that's about it.

Something I must ask my mates; where do they shop. Not something that's every really come up on conversation, other than one of them might say, British week, next week in Lidl, stock up on cheddar :)
Roger5 1 | 1,458
24 Aug 2015  #27
I just wish Auchan, Kaufland and several others would introduce a ticket system at the deli counter. The assistants couldn't care less who's next. I must have walked away twenty times, muttering like a bag lady. I can't believe that the owners of these places don't have such a system in their stores back home.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
24 Aug 2015  #28
@Smurf: I don't think Leclerc is very expensive (comparable to Carrefour). I often shop at both Carrefour and Leclerc in same area (Blue City and Popularna, if you know Warsaw) and the prices are similar. I think Piotr & Paweł is much more expensive. I buy a lot at P & P's (their own brand (cereal, jams, cookies, coffee, herbal teas, diary and cleaning products....) is really great and decently priced) but I don't for instance normally buy their fruit and vegetables, eggs... because really too expensive. I have noticed that sometimes SAME brands of cereal or jams are cheaper at P & P's than at Carrefour's. Whenever I go to Alma's (it happens) I don't buy very expensive things.

Well, "cheap" and "expensive" are relative ;).

In fact, the ideal would be to shop everywhere but who has time?
Dougpol1 30 | 2,936
24 Aug 2015  #29
Alma is good if you're looking for some particular cheese or wine etc. But you'd have to be bonkers to do a full shop there

+1. A shop for snobs. And there's nowt as amusing as the lesser known species of The Polish Snob :)
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
24 Aug 2015  #30
To be fair, some Alma stuff is very good - they have an excellent own-brand line of juices and other stuff that's fantastic and about the same price as elsewhere. I wouldn't touch the "snob" stuff like meat and cheese though - too many people have had too many bad experiences there.


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