ADECES (Association for Civil Economic and Social Rights) has examined1 the diversity of products, both in its version of white brands and the manufacturer, and the costs of buying on-line 31 products in seven food chains. The study shows that online shopping is between 24% and 45% cheaper with white marks. In addition, it is observed that, at least for this basket, the possibilities of consumer choice vary up to 33 points.

To offer a true reflection of reality, a Mixed Brand Purchase has been made; procedure in which, if necessary, and at the lowest cost, there is a lack of products by others with the same characteristics (either white label or manufacturer).

To complete the analysis, a homogeneous purchase was made according to the type of brands. In this option, the user tries to acquire the largest number of products in the basket in each type of brand, without replacing the deficiencies found, if any.

In both procedures, the lowest cost product has been selected, offers are not included and the same reference units are used (liters, kilos, dozens …).

The following conclusions are drawn from the examination

The average percentage of private label products stands at 84% and that of manufacturers at 94%.

In four chains (Alcampo, Condis, El Corte Inglés and Hipercor) all the products in the basket can be purchased in manufacturers’ brands. Mercadona with 71% and Carrefour (87%), are the chains with the largest deficit in manufacturers’ brands.

For this type of purchase, Alcampo (€ 96) has the lowest cost. On the contrary, El Corte Inglés is the most expensive (€ 123), that is, a difference of 29%.

No chain offers a white label for the 31 products on the list. Those that more products of this type provide are Alcampo (94%) and Mercadona (90%). El Corte Inglés and Hipercor with just over 70% have the least percentage.

The product on the list with the lowest white label presence is sugar, only Carrefour has this possibility. Diapers follow.

Alcampo, consequently, is the chain that offers the consumer the greatest choice, both in terms of the white label (94%) and the manufacturer (100%). It follows him in Eroski with 90% and 97% respectively. Mercadona offers less diversity with 33 points of difference.

The amount of the Mixed brand online purchase (one in which, if necessary, there is substitution of private label or manufacturer products) registers differences that vary between 24% and 45%, depending on the chain where it is made.

For this type of purchase, the maximum difference in price between chains in private labels is 36%. In manufacturers’ brands it is 31%. These maximum differences are recorded between Mercadona and Condis for the white label and Mercadona and the Corte Inglés in the Mixed purchase of manufacturers’ brands.