This has been the worst week in terms of price increases, in years we believe. Ever since this website started we have never seen anything like it. Grocery prices for some items, e.g. Surf, went up by an astounding 300%.

We are at a loss when it comes to explaining this. It could probably be the Ecocash ban, well it was a ban on mobile money cash-in cash-out but Ecocash is mobile money in Zimbabwe. Without the black market trading supermarkets were just shooting in the dark here and trying to mitigate the risk that when it did resume trading the black market would start at extremely high rates.

“Empty” shelves covered up

We could not find essential basics like meali-meal, cooking oil and flour in most shops. In all supermarkets when an item is missing you wouldn’t even know it. Space is quickly covered up by something else giving the impression that nothing is wrong.

Another explanation for the prices could well be that these supermarkets like most businesses, actually rely on the black market to buy foreign currency to restock. Without the black market, they struggled to find the stock. It could also explain the missing items. To be clear we are just speculating here too.

ItemOKPick N PayChoppiesFoodWorld
All Purpose Cleaner 750ml23.0028.9925.9022.70
Bath soap Geisha 225g18.009.99na12.85
Bath soap imagenananana
Bath soap Jade 250g8.99na12.95na
Beans Dried 500g14.6522.999.7914.75
Bleach/Jik 500ml18.9519.1921.20
Bread Baker's Inn9.459.399.499.30
Bread Lobels9.459.399.499.30
Bread Proton9.459.399.499.30
Bread Shop9.309.008.95na
Candles 6pack 300g18.3517.9919.8022.15
Cereal (Cerevita) 500g22.8522.9919.9921.95
Cooking Oil 2lnanana54.50
Creamer 1kg49.99nana55.00
Dish Washer 750ml21.1017.9920.9520.20
Diapers 50123.79129.99na128.05
Drink Bally House29.3527.9926.49na
Drink Cheapest20.9917.9921.9921.60
Drink Mazoe Original 2l39.9941.9930.9930.35
Drink Mazoe less sugar37.99na30.9930.35
Eggs 3047.9943.99na48.50
Eggs 610.49nana10.35
Flour 2kg39.99na46.0045.00
Green bar14.1013.9918.8524.40
Jam 375ml16.9916.999.4910.60
Kapenta 1KG76.85nana98.45
Kapenta 500gna38.9944.7050.00
Lotion/Cream Camphor 300ml29.5931.9926.9957.55
Macaroni 3kg63.9969.99na58.70
Margarine 500g13.9914.99016.4014.49
Matches pack of 10 boxes6.505.994.005.15
Mayonnaise 750g19.7934.9919.9949.00
Mealie-meal 10kg49.6049.9948.2038.10
Mealie-meal Refined 10kg59.5959.9949.2049.30
Milk 1l13.9910.9912.999.85
Peanut butter 375ml28.5024.9917.4919.40
Petroleum Jelly 300ml32.5033.9941.5022.25
Rice white43.9033.9934.9935.45
Salt 1kg5.397.4959.898.90
Sanitary Pads 10s/8s9.999.9910.9911.85
Scouring powder 500g3.556.992.904.30
Shoe polish 50ml15.4015.99na15.20
Shoe polish 100mlna26.99nana
Soup Usavi Mix 50g3.692.893.693.25
Stasoft Refill (500ml)35.2932.99nana
Sugar 2kg30.5028.9930.4030.40
Surface Cleaner 500ml23.0015.9925.9022.70
Tea 100 tea bags18.9925.9926.8524.28
Thai Rice 2kgnanana36.00
Tinned beans 410g7.358.298.4912.95
Tinned fish 155g7.8511.999.499.20
Tissues (Pack of 4)19.4017.9916.4916.40
Toilet Cleaner 500ml18.3519.9918.2024.80
Toothpaste 100ml7.999.997.998.15
Washing Powder 1kg28.4926.9925.4531.45
Washing Powder 2kg57.0057.9999.5070.40

NB

  • We looked at multiple branches of each of these supermarkets before coming up with the list
  • Prices were consistent across branches, unlike Spar shops which have wildly varied prices, its the reason why we constantly survey these chosen four. Occasionally we look at other shops for comparison purposes
  • As always we chose the cheapest item/brand for each selected item, however for items such as toothpaste we only look at established brands, Colgate in this case, Mazoe Orange instead of other flavours etc
  • Rice is Mega white rice, Ekono or Better Buy
  • Thai Rice includes Probrands and Mega’s brands
  • Cheaper brands of All-purpose cleaner such as Clean-O and Spotless were missing in a number of shops. Only the more expensive Handy Andy was available
  • The prices of peanut butter, jam, Geisha and Boom toilet cleaner have doubled in the space of a week
  • The price of Surf increased by 300% in a week.

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