The Jersey Consumer Council is launching the price-comparison service to provide Islanders with up-to-date information on the costs of their weekly shops.
The prices of groceries across six major supermarkets in Jersey will be published each week on the Consumer Council website and via a free downloadable app, which has been developed in conjunction with ESH Solutions Ltd.
JCC chairman Carl Walker said: ‘It has been a long-term ambition and commitment in my tenure as chairman to deliver a robust, accessible and independent price comparison service for Jersey. Hopefully this is just the start and, with the right resources, will grow into a full price-comparison service. This will not only enable consumers to make informed choices about their shopping but also encourage greater competition and drive prices down.’
The price-comparison service will initially focus on 43 shopping-basket items, which include 14 core items most households will buy, such as bread, eggs and toilet rolls. There will also be a rotating list of more specialist and branded goods, to see how each store compares when looking at like-for-like prices. The JCC hopes that, with more time and resources, the service will be able to expand to include pricing information on a more diverse range of local items, such as fuel, building materials, and electrical goods.
Mr Walker added: ‘We are keen to provide a really valuable resource for Islanders that will make a difference to Islanders’ pockets and make supermarket pricing even more competitive. However, we are doing the best we can with a small team of volunteer council members and a very complex range of goods across Jersey supermarkets. Therefore, when we are unable to compare an exact like-for-like price, we have applied common sense to solve the problem.’
The council are also aiming to publish back-dated prices, allowing for week-to-week, month-to-month and year-to-year comparisons.
‘With Covid-19 still a threat to our stock levels, and Brexit threatening our supply chains, consumers can be reassured that the Consumer Council is monitoring prices and will not be afraid to question any sudden or dramatic price rises,’ said Mr Walker. ‘I would like to place on record my thanks to ESH Solutions for helping us provide the software to deliver this service to Jersey, as well as the officers and council members who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to get this off the ground. It has been a fantastic team effort.’