The Outlier’s grocery basket: February 2023

Every month we take a look at the in-store prices of the same basket of goods across six major retailers – Shoprite, Checkers, Pick n Pay, Spar, Food Lover’s Market and Woolworths.

Shopping list

Our grocery basket is made up of basic goods most people are likely to have in their homes and use every day. The list looks like this

  • 700g loaf of Albany Superior Sliced White Bread, or store brand
  • 2-litre store brand sunflower oil
  • 2.5kg Iwisa maize meal
  • 2.5kg Selati white sugar
  • 2-litre store brand milk
  • 2kg Tastic rice
  • 2.5kg Snowflake cake flour
  • 175g bar of Dettol Herbal Soap
  • 9-pack of 2-ply toilet paper, average price over all brands

If some brands aren’t available, alternatives are used, but our aim is to keep the products as consistent as possible every month. For a breakdown of our methodology, click here.

February’s basket

Food Lover’s Market beat Woolworths to the cheapest spot by R11.04. It’s the store’s third time in the top spot since entering our comparison in December. This month, Spar was the most expensive retailer, R48.04 more expensive for February’s basket of nine staples compared with Food Lover’s.

February 2023's grocery basket
February 2023’s grocery basket

Note: In February we averaged the prices of the 9-pack of 2-ply toilet papers because the same brand was not available across all stores.

The price of protein

We also looked at what different proteins like chicken and fish cost across the same six retailers.

For chicken breasts, Food Lover’s Market was the most affordable option at R69.99 a kilogram versus Woolworths at R124.99. Looking at the price of boerewors, Woolworths was again the most expensive at R139.99 a kilogram versus R94.99 at Shoprite.

Lucky Star’s 400g tin of pilchards was the most competitively priced item, differing by no more than R3 between the stores.

Comparing the price of proteins across the retailers


Additional data collection by Gemma Ritchie

This story was edited on 29 June 2023 to update editorial style. No material changes were made