Most people would agree that refill packs are a good idea; they typically use less packaging and claim to be better for the environment. So why do some supermarkets charge more for refill packs than the normal version?
In the food aisles of your local supermarket, you’re most likely to see refill packs on coffee, herbs and spices.
Manufacturers often claim these packs require less energy to produce and transport than the glass jars that these products normally come in.
Refill for more
But what if these refill packs are more expensive than the normal version? Well, when we examined the price of refills, this was exactly the case for refill versions of products such as Nescafé Original and Schwartz Garlic Granules in Asda, Morrisons, Tesco and Waitrose.
Not many shoppers are going to put their environmental conscience ahead of their wallet and continue buying them in that case – I know I wouldn’t.
And unless you go to the trouble of scrutinising the price per unit on each item you buy, you might not even notice that the refill pack is more expensive. I’d always assumed that refill packs were cheaper, until an eagle-eyed Which? member alerted us to this problem.
Have you spotted a poor value refill pack?
To their credit, Morrisons and Asda agreed that refill packs should be better value and rectified their pricing mistakes. But Waitrose said they didn’t think it was appropriate to comment on branded products – even though it’s the supermarkets and not the manufacturers who set prices – and Tesco didn’t provide us with a comment.
Have you spotted a refill pack that’s more expensive than the original version? Let us know in the comments below and email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org – we’ll keep an eye on this issue and alert the supermarkets to any more examples you find.