Good to see supermarket fake half price deals coming in for some stick in the national press. The Telegraph have an article about it, titled Beware supermarket wine bargains.
Most of the major supermarkets have these ‘tactical brands’ (or ‘trade drivers’) as part of their portfolio. They are priced, say, at £10, but are on regular promotion at £5. Supermarkets claim that their customers love them, and that they are very profitable. But they are, in my opinion, fundamentally dishonest.
Website www.mysupermarket.co.uk is a very useful tool for exposing the dishonestly priced tactical brands. You can see which wines are on offer in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Waitrose, and then look at the historical pricing of each of the wines. It’s very revealing.
Of the four supermarkets, Sainsbury’s and Tesco are the chief offenders. I had a quick look to spot some of their tactical brands. Tesco’s Wine Route South African pair are priced at £9.99 but are regularly on offer at £4.99, and have been as low as £4.49. Their Wine from France Cote du Rhone is £10.49 but cycles regularly to £5.49 or even £4.99. Ogio is a key tactical brand for Tesco, listed at £9.99 or even £10.99, and then regularly dipping to £4.99 or even £4. Marques de Carano Gran Reserva from Spain is dressed up to look like a Rioja, and regularly cycles from £9.99 to £4.99.
Sainsbury’s seem to love their variable pricing, too. McGuigan Bin Series Merlot is listed at £10.49, or even £10.99. It’s regularly available for £4.99 or £5.24, 0r £5.99 (price chart from mysupermarket is above). Vina Maipo, a Chilean soft brand, is a tactical one: £9.99 retail price, but sells regularly at £4.99. Roc de Lussac St Emilion looks like a serious Bordeaux at £14.99, but you’d be a mug if you paid that for it – it’s frequently knocked back to £7.49. Terre de Galets Cotes du Rhone is £10.49. Except for when it is £5.49. Which is quite a lot.
But the worst pricing I saw was the following. Piccini Chianti Reserva, normally available in Asda and Sainsbury for £6.98. But Sainsbury’s have a special offer on at the moment:
How long was it priced at £11.99 in Sainsbury’s? This is the mysupermarket price chart for this wine:
I don’t know how accurate mysupermarket’s pricing data are, but this seems to suggest that it hasn’t been priced at £11.99 very often.