Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Study Reveals Disparity In C.R. Product Prices

December 4, 2009

The Ministry of Economy, Industry and Trade (MEIC) this week released the results of a study that examined the price variations of 37 basic household products in the Central Valley. The study selected 32 basic food items, as well as five non-food items, and charted the differences in their prices during the week of Oct. 13 to 19.

The ministry monitored the prices of staples such as rice, beans, coffee, sugar, flour, bread, margarine, milk, deodorant, soap and toilet paper at 18 stores in the cities of San José, Heredia, Cartago and Alajuela. The stores included in the survey were Palí, Hipermás, Megasúper, Más x Menos and Auto Mercado, as well as several others. The prices of identical products of the same brand and appearance – as well as identical products under different brand names – were monitored.

According to the National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC), the products in the study were identified as the “most sensitive” products from the consumer point of view. Each month, INEC tracks the price variations of 292 products and services to determine the country’s inflation rate.

“These basic consumer products are very important and have a significant impact on the family budget,” said Eduardo Sibaja, minister of MEIC. “If heads of families know the best places to shop, they can save up to 13 percent of their budget.”

Some of the most dramatic price variations of similar products under different name brands were observed in the prices of bologna, hot dogs, ham and vegetable oil. At the Super Víquez in Santa Barbara, bologna under the Tiquica name brand sells for ¢390 per 250 grams. At the Jumbo Supermercado in Alajuela, Zar bologna sells or ¢1,518 per 250 grams. The percentage difference in the two types of bologna is over 289 percent.

The biggest variance in prices of the same product with the same name brand was observed in the price of black beans and coffee. At the Galerón de las Ofertas in Alajuela, a 900-gram can of black beans sells for ¢862.19. At the Megasuper in Santa María de Dota in Cartago, the same can of beans sells for ¢1,066, a difference of ¢203.81.

The study also concluded that the best prices for “basic consumer” products could be found at the Palí in Tres Ríos, the Hipermás in Heredía and the Palí in Desamparados.

 

–Adam Williams

 

For more information, visit www.meic.go.cr or www.consumo.go.cr

You may be interested

U.S. Southern Command delivers hygiene supplies to Costa Rica’s Education Ministry
Costa Rica
3731 views
Costa Rica
3731 views

U.S. Southern Command delivers hygiene supplies to Costa Rica’s Education Ministry

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 24, 2020

The United States Southern Command delivered a significant donation of hygiene supplies to Costa Rica's Education Ministry (MEP) in a…

Costa Rica begins new dialogue in search of solution to serious fiscal crisis
Costa Rica
22042 views
Costa Rica
22042 views

Costa Rica begins new dialogue in search of solution to serious fiscal crisis

AFP - October 24, 2020

Costa Rica on Friday opened a dialogue with many sectors of the country in search of an agreement to overcome…

‘Hasta siempre, doctor Solís’: Costa Rica mourns doctor’s death
Costa Rica
15701 views
Costa Rica
15701 views

‘Hasta siempre, doctor Solís’: Costa Rica mourns doctor’s death

The Tico Times - October 23, 2020

Jaime Solís, a 54-year-old doctor who worked for the Costa Rican Social Security System, is among the more than 1,200…