We compared the prices of Easter staples – and you can pay 44% too much for a chocolate bunny if you aren't careful

08:16 (GMT+2) Wed, 17 Apr 2019

If you buy a single Beacon marshmallow Easter egg at Pick n Pay it will set you back R2.49. Buy it at the till at Spar down the road instead and you will pay an even R2 – a saving of nearly a quarter the total price.

That doesn't make a big real difference unless you are buying way too many mallow Easter eggs one at a time (remember: sugar kills) – but our price comparison of Easter staples shows the stakes are bigger for higher-value items most people only buy once a year.

Buy chocolate Easter bunnies for a family of four at the wrong retailer, for instance, and you can spend up to R80 more than you need to.

With the Easter long weekend rapidly coming up, some retailers have started running short of the more popular chocolate treats, while others have dropped prices, apparently to reduce big piles of stock.

Some, but not all.

Since Business Insider South Africa compared the prices of boxes of 48 Beacon Marshmallow Eggs in mid-March, our local Spar has dropped its price by 9%, from R76.99 to R69.99 – but Clicks is still selling the exact same thing for R94.99. 

Clicks is apparently so concerned that people will mob its stores to pay R25 more for that box of mellow eggs than they could down the road that each customer is limited to eight boxes for this special.

See also: You can pay up to 27% too much for Easter eggs on ‘special’ – here’s how prices compare at major retailers

This week we compared the prices of hot cross buns (which are of varying quality from the major retailers) and a standard chocolate favourite that is still widely available throughout the country: Lindt's 100 gram milk chocolate bunny, which comes with a bell.

We discovered that hot cross buns cost an average of R19.99 per half a dozen across the four major retailers we checked – but that the difference between the least expensive and most expensive was 67%. 

These are the prices for six "traditional" hot cross buns at Checkers, Pick n Pay, Spar, and Woolworths:

Hot cross bun prices

While the ingredient costs can differ between the various recipes the retailers use for their sweet raisin buns, the Lindt chocolate bunnies are standard across all shops – except for the price.

We discovered that while the average price of a Lindt bunny was R54.98 between the five retailers where we found it readily in stock, the price difference between the most expensive and least expensive was 44%. 

Here is how the prices of a 100g Lindt chocolate bunny stacked up:

Lindt bunny prices

The lowest price, of R44.99 at Spar, was a special price not marked on shelf and may not be available at all stores. But Dis-Chem – not a traditional go-to retailer of sugary snacks, also sold the same chocolate bunny for R15.04 less than you would pay at Pick n Pay.

Though Pick 'n Pay often advertises on price – and advertised its Lindt bunnies alongside its "low price every day" promise, it was 18.2% more expensive than the average price.

Also somewhat surprising was that Woolworths, not usually a fierce competitor on prices, was cheaper than both Checkers and Pick n Pay.

Phillip de Wet , Business Insider SA                  

Apr 17, 2019, 06:13 AM


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