Sunday, 7 November 2010

Tesco vs. Auchan

Dropping Moni off at the Metro in Ursynów this morning, I took the opportunity to visit the Tesco in Kabaty to do at least part of the weekly shop. Ever since moving to Jeziorki in 2002 I've been doing the big supermarket trip to Auchan, and only Auchan, once a week.

It's the closest large retailer to our house, the vast shop is incredibly well stocked, and it's easy to get to (one right turn onto Puławska, one set of lights, then a handy viaduct straight into the car park).

But things are not as rosy at Auchan as they once were. Firstly, a number of our favourite brands have been disappearing off the shelves. Recently (to my horror!) Lavazza coffee has gone. For me, the only coffee brand that's comparable in quality of taste is Illy, which Auchan also doesn't stock. The children's favourite shampoo (Herbal Essences) has disappeared too. Secondly, Auchan's loyalty card Skarbonka is but a pale shadow of its former self. I could once count on racking up 200 złotys over the course of a year. This year, I'll be lucky to get back 70 zł.

So on to Tesco. Main attraction is in the wine department. Here, one can buy outstanding own-brand dry red wines from Chile and Australia. The Chilean one cost 8.35 złotys a bottle, the Australian 7.99. Tesco's global buying power and blending expertise ensure that for this price, one comes out with a wine comparable with a 18-22 zł bottle purchased elsewhere. These two are stunningly good for the price; the Chilean one is strong on Carmenere grape, while the Australian is Shirazy, both are well-balanced and are full of fruit flavour. Discovered in Czarna Białostocka while on a visit to Ziggy's this summer, these two wines alone are a good reason to pop into a (larger) Tesco.

I was impressed on entering the Tesco in Kabaty by the fruit and veg department. Although the variety of products on offer was definitely smaller than in Auchan (no pomegranate in season, for example), the produce was well sorted (nothing mouldy, soft or going off), well presented - and you don't have to wait in a separate queue to weight it.

But while Tesco's own-brand products are high quality and cheaper, the branded stuff is more expensive than at Auchan. Take pesto for example. Tesco's own brand pesto costs 5.12 zł for a 190 g. jar while my favourite brand, Gran' Italia, costs 11.99 zł. And guess what - Tesco's pesto differs little in taste from the best branded one, and costs less than half price. The Gran' Italia costs 8.98 zł at Auchan - a 25% difference, but then Auchan doesn't do an own-brand pesto. Toothpaste too; Sensodyne Ultraszybka Ulga is 15.69 zł at Tesco and 11.98 zł at Auchan. However, Tesco does stock both my favourite coffee and my children's favourite shampoo.

Having split this week's shopping between two supermarkets, I will adopt the following strategy for the future: visit Tesco once a month to stock up big-time on the stuff that Auchan has stopped selling, buying plenty of fresh fruit and veg while I'm at it. The remaining weeks, I shall continue shopping at Auchan.

Over the course of a year, I'm spending tens of thousands of zlotys at the supermarkets. It's a spend that needs to be handled wisely.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Michal - we do the same. We have also added Lidl, API (both in Konstancin) and Kaufland to our shopping schedules.

Lidl for .05% yogurt, swartzwalder (sp) air dried ham, ground beef for the occasional burgers and a variety of hygiene items like shave gel, skin cream etc.

API for Szynka Noga slices (the best around) and for bagged salads, also their chicken and turkey are high quality. They also stock Konstancin beer.

Kaufland for great prices on large bottles of green and black olives.

Today we discovered great prices on tortilla chips at Carrefour in G. Mokotow

Sure we will chat about it at the blog meet.