Consumers think that supermarkets are fuelling ‘greedflation’

With the Consumer Prices Index up 10.1% in the year to March 2023, consumers are starting to believe that supermarkets are putting up prices more than necessary. A recent article in The Grocer highlights a new trend for brands – deinfluencers – as people start to demand boycotts of food retailers and FMCG brands suspected of keeping prices artificially high.

Online reviews are an excellent barometer for consumer sentiment. Metricomm explored reviews from the last couple of weeks to see whether comments supported the view that supermarkets and their suppliers are simply being greedy. The reviews reveal that shoppers are becoming suspicious.

Sainsbury’s, for example, scores 1.6 stars out of 5 on Trustpilot and 72% of reviewers rate the brand as 1-star only. Recent comments support the view that price inflation is being exacerbated unfairly. Something else that hasn’t landed well with some Sainsbury’s customers is the decision, announced in April, to offer special Nectar Prices to loyalty card holders. Discounts, argue the consumers, should be available to anyone who spends money in store.

This is similar to a scheme already available to Tesco Clubcard holders.  On inspection, their reviews also reveal that consumers are far from happy with the ‘same old excuse’ about the rising cost of living, while ‘Tesco profits are increasing’. This is another supermarket with poor customer satisfaction in reviews, where 62% rate the retailer as 1-star.

In fact, no major UK supermarket scores well in reviews.  Even the discounters are on the receiving end of some scathing feedback about overcharging, poor quality product and, in the case of Aldi, an awful delivery experience. This means there’s an opportunity for a supermarket brand to up its game and provide genuine value for money, without gimmicks and without compromising on quality.

Regular reviews analysis would help supermarkets pinpoint the specific issues that infuriate customers. Metricomm has long experience of analysing shopper feedback and we know that rude staff, unreliable deliveries and disappointing products erode loyalty. However, brand detractors have been around for a long time, well before anyone coined the phrase ‘deinfluencer’. These disgruntled customers can provide valuable insights into aspects of service that need improvement. With ‘greedflation’ the flavour of the moment among issues relating to food retail, supermarkets might learn a lot from keeping a close eye on Trustpilot and similar sites.  If they don’t, the deinfluencers will probably keep walking away from their brands.

For more information about Metricomm’s online reviews analysis capabilities, email hello@metricomm.com