Irish people need to “wake up and vote with their feet” if we want to see a fall in supermarket prices.
This morning, Newstalk Breakfast presenters Shane Coleman and Ciara Kelly reacted to a Sunday Times study which finds that Irish goods are up to 70% more expensive here than they are in the UK.
The study looked at well-known Irish products like Clonakilty sausages, Irish Yogurts, Sudocrem and even Barry’s Tea – finding that they are all significantly more expensive in Ireland than in the UK.
“It’s actually really galling,” said Ciara. “I think it’s happening because we’re willing to pay higher prices over here.”
She said Irish people often reject cheaper alternatives out of a fear of being seen as miserly.
“When we were kids, they brought out those own-brand things in what is now Tesco but was then Quinnsworth,” she said. “The Yellow Packs.”
“Yellow Pack was then a derogatory term; sort of, ‘this is a Yellow Pack job or this is a Yellow Pack situation’ – people downgraded cheapness.
“I think we have a horror in this country of appearing to be skinflinty, of appearing to not have money; I don’t know if it is a noveau-riche thing or what it is.
“The irritating thing is that retailers can read us like books.
"They know exactly our price point and that’s what they’re doing in the UK; they’re putting in Irish products at the UK’s price point and the price point here is higher because we’re willing to pay it.
“We need to do something about it. We need to wake up. The Irish consumer needs to wake up.”
Shane said the rise of Lidl and Aldi in Ireland is already changing things, but agreed: “We need to vote with our feet.”
“We need to start actually saying we’re not going to take this anymore because this is crazy.”