This week, supermarkets have been a hot topic – from value for money, to food labelling, right down to the good old chocolate digestive. Here’s a hand-picked basket of your top comments.
During an investigation, we found some supermarket ready meals with ‘five-a-day’ logos that also contained high amounts of saturated fat, salt or sugar.
We asked if you would expect meals with the five-a-day logo to be healthy.
Bob has little trust in any food labels:
‘Nowadays we take the line that supermarkets (and other companies) are not to be trusted. Therefore labels, pricing claims, and quantities within are not taken for granted. For a long time now, we only buy food which has not been processed as much as possible.’
SKS thinks education could help us make healthier choices:
‘All very well saying eat a balanced diet, but food and nutrition has not been taught in schools for many years. There are generations now who just don’t know what a “balanced diet” is or how to plan and cook healthy meals from scratch.’
Dave R has clear criteria he would like ‘five-a-day’ food to meet:
‘If I had my way, companies would not be allowed to use the five a day logo on any processed ready meals. I would allow manufacturers to use the logo only on frozen and canned vegetables or fruit, provided they also indicated what constitutes one portion. Supermarkets should be required to exhibit a poster in their fresh fruit and veg section, indicating the government’s recommendations on portion size for each variety.’
Battle of the biscuits
The humble chocolate digestive kicked off a wave of biscuit appreciation when we asked if you prefer to buy branded or own-label.
Malcolm R likes to get his biccies from M&S:
‘We buy biscuits from M&S. Chocolate digestives are as good or better than McVities at, often, around half the price. Rich tea, ginger nut, shortbread, and so on, all as good as main brands but cheaper.’
John Ward feels that McVitie’s trumps the supermarket copies:
‘I do believe the McVitie dark chocolate digestive (or the “McVitie & Price Homewheat Chocolate Digestive” as it was called when I was growing up) is the most toothsome of all the brands available, although Sainsbury’s runs it close.’
Best value supermarkets
The results of our supermarket survey inspired you to share where you shop for the best value.
Lombear takes a tactical approach to get the best value:
‘I do two shops now – a first pass at Lidl for the essentials and any offers there and then a lesser shop at Sainsbury’s for anything not available at Lidl. I buy a lot of fruit, veg and meat at Lidl – the price differential between those at Sainsbury’s is crazy. Cucumbers, for example, are 40-60p at Lidl, but nearly a quid at Sainsbury’s. Milk is a quid at Lidl, but £1.18 at Sainsbury’s. Repeat that difference across fresh foods and it really adds up. Now I don’t need to do this, I earn a good wage (and get some pretty surprised looks when I say I shop a Lidl), but I fail to see the point of paying more for equally good supplies through pure laziness or snobbery. I can put my money to better use…’
DiB thinks that some people confuse good value with low prices, in our Comment of the Week:
‘Most of us initially equate value with costing less. However, if we want quality for our money, then perhaps some of the “cheaper” supermarkets may not fare so well. In the present economic climate many shoppers go for the cheap option rather than value. I found that buying better quality means I buy less, waste less, and it goes further. But then when I’m faced with what’s in my purse at the time the better quality product often stays on the shelf.’
Are you getting good value from your local supermarket? Do you think their own-brand products compete with the big names?