Barbara Anthony, Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
Earlier this month, our Office conducted a survey of Shaw’s, Stop & Shop, and Hannaford grocery stores around Boston and region, checking on prices for a number of everyday items and Thanksgiving staples. We picked these stores because on an everyday price basis they are not the lowest- nor highest-priced chains in the area. They are the average-priced markets many consumers patronize. What we found was that inner-city stores generally have higher prices than those in the suburbs.
The six highest-priced stores were checked were all in Boston or Cambridge. At one chain, after a Gardner store was first, three Boston stores were the next highest-priced. Our survey showed that where you shop can have a big impact on cost, with totals ranging from $46 to $82.
Consumers consider a number of factors when choosing a supermarket to shop at, including convenience and location, customer service, services provided, and variety of items. But the cost of products is certainly a big factor. Weekly grocery shopping costs a family well over $100, and with food costs one of the biggest parts of a household budget, looking for lower costs is important for many families.
The groceries checked in the survey were milk, eggs, orange juice, peanut butter, bread, baby food, cereal, soda, coffee, cookies, tuna, flour, sugar, stuffing, cranberry sauce, turkey, corn, and canned pumpkin. In cases where the exact item was not available, surveyors checked an equivalent item.
There were fluctuations for prices on many individual products, particularly milk, which ranged from $2.59 at the Hannaford in Ayer to $4.79 at multiple Stop & Shops; Cheerios, which went from $2.99 at many Hannaford to $4.59 at the Shaw’s in Gloucester; coffee, which was $6.99 at two Shaw’s and $10.99 at two other Shaw’s; and frozen turkey. Surveyors multiplied the per-pound price for a turkey for a 10-pound turkey, creating a total cost of $9.90 at the Hannaford in Leominster and a Stop & Shop in Boston, and a total cost of $24.90 at a number of Shaw’s.
To see more on the survey, watch the Channel 5 story. Here are the store-by-store results from our survey:
Hannaford, Hancock St., Quincy, $46.85
Hannaford, Merriam Ave., Leominster, $52.72
Hannaford, Walpole St., Norwood, $54.58
Hannaford, Broadway, Saugus, $57.06
Hannaford, Fitchburg Rd., Ayer, $57.10
Hannaford, Mass. Ave., Lunenburg, $57.32
Hannaford, Main St., Townsend, $57.75
Hannaford, Lowell St., Peabody, $59.29
Hannaford, 21 Timpany Blvd., Gardner, $59.91
Stop & Shop, Revere Beach Pkwy., Everett, $61.14
Stop & Shop, Broadway, Malden, $61.14
Stop & Shop, Main St., Saugus, $61.20
Stop & Shop, Furlong Dr., Revere, $61.20
Stop & Shop, Mass. Ave., Boston, $62.27
Stop & Shop, Newbury St., Danvers, $63.93
Shaw’s, Granite St., Quincy, $64.18
Stop & Shop, Howley St., Peabody, $64.65
Stop & Shop, Thatcher Rd., Gloucester, $65.13
Stop & Shop, Everett St., Boston, $66.62
Stop & Shop, Centre St., Boston, $66.73
Stop & Shop, Blue Hill Ave., Boston, $67.02
Stop & Shop, Timpany Blvd., Gardner, $69.41
Shaw’s, Eastern Ave., Gloucester, $71.88
Shaw’s, Providence Hwy., Dedham, $76.90
Shaw’s, Border St., Boston, $77.51
Shaw’s, Revere Beach Pkwy., Revere, $77.51
Shaw’s, Water Tower Plaza, Leominster, $78.75
Shaw’s, Essex Center Dr., Peabody, $79.75
Shaw’s, Comm. Ave., Boston, $81.45
Shaw’s, Western Ave., Boston, $81.45
Shaw’s, White St., Cambridge, $81.75
Shaw’s, Morrissey Blvd., Boston, $81.85
Shaw’s, 33 Kilmarnock St., Boston, $82.25
Shaw’s, 53 Huntington Ave., Boston, $82.55