The true cost of supermarket multibuys

New Which? research reveals that supermarket multibuys don’t always save you money, and could even cost you more.

We looked at a years worth of pricing data to look at 115 popular products, comparing around 300,000 prices, from Asda, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose online.

We found:

Multibuy offers that wouldn’t save you money at all.

Example: a pack of four tins of Heinz soup for £2.99 next to individual tins on multibuy for £80p each or four tins for £3.

Around 10 per cent of products increased in price, on at least one occasion, when they went from the standard or discount price on to multibuy, and decreased afterwards.

Example: Goodfella’s Deep Pan Baked Pepperoni Pizza more than doubled in price in ASDA when it was on multibuy. The pizza was generally £1 when it wasn’t on multibuy but on a multibuy offer the price increased to £2.68/£2.50 for one or £4.50 for two.

Some of the products we looked at were almost always on discount or multibuy.

Example: at Tesco and Sainsbury’s over 365 days Nestle Munch Bunch Yogurt (4x100g) was generally either £1 on discount or two-for-£2 on multibuy so whether you buy the product on ‘offer’ or nor, the yogurt still cost around £1 each.

A Which spokesperson said:

“With household budgets squeezed and rising food costs among the top worries for consumers, it’s all the more important that stores make it as easy as possible for people to spot the best value products.”

Additional information:

1. Further examples included in the article attached and available in our online at

2. Which? has also been calling for clear and consistent unit pricing for all products, including those on promotion. Find out more at


3. The research looked at a years worth of data from the independent shopping website, and looked at online shops Asda, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.

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