The cheapest supermarkets in Switzerland revealed

The cheapest supermarkets in Switzerland revealed

A new study from the consumer magazine A Bon Entendeur has revealed which supermarkets in Switzerland are the cheapest. Contrary to expectations, the report found that non-Swiss grocery stores have struggled to make themselves cheaper than traditional brands.

Which supermarkets in Switzerland are the cheapest?

To create the study, the magazine compared the prices of 30 basic food products such as ham, potatoes, cheese, bread and pasta at the five largest supermarket chains in Switzerland. These are Aldi, Lidl, Denner, Coop and Migros. 

All the purchases were made on the same day, and the cheapest version of each product available was always chosen - for those who want to find out which store offers the cheapest organic products, check out our guide.

Denner shocked to find it is the most expensive store

Interestingly, Denner was found to be the most expensive supermarket in Switzerland, with the cost of the 30 items coming in at 181,67 francs. The result was quite a surprise given that the brand is known as a Swiss discounter that has cut-price versions of items you find in Coop and Migros.

It also came as a surprise for Denner itself, with sales director Laurent Recordon telling SRF that there must have been a mistake. “Maybe you didn’t find the right item in the store”, he argued, adding that Denner is also usually much cheaper than their competitors due to the extensive discounts they offer.

Little difference in price between supermarket brands in Switzerland

Migros was found to be the second most expensive supermarket in Switzerland at 170,37 francs for the 30 items - the orange giant was also notable as 70 percent of their cheapest items were from M-Budget and Price Guarantee, the ranges designed to counter Aldi and Lidl. Migros was followed by Coop (167,82) and Aldi (166,59), with Lidl (162,05) found to be the cheapest store.

With the average cost of a shop only ranging by 8 francs between Lidl and Migros, RTS noted that German supermarket chains are very similar in price to traditional Swiss stores, despite their credentials as discounters. Speaking to the broadcaster, Lidl spokesperson Mathias Kaufmann said that regardless of the result, they still focus on offering the “best prices” on the market. He also denied that all supermarkets agree on what prices to set in Switzerland.

Patrick Krauskopf, an expert in retail law, noted that as soon as Aldi and Lidl entered the market in the early 2000s, the traditional Swiss brands reacted with cut-price products of their own. “They launched the M-Budget and Prix Garantie ranges to make entry into the market for Lidl and Aldi more difficult,” he noted, adding that a price consensus now reigns over the market when it comes to budget brands.

Swiss favour quality of price, expert notes

Krauskopf added that Switzerland itself is a strange place for budget supermarkets given how high both salaries and the cost of living are: “The German, the French, the English, the Spanish, and the American pay a lot of attention to the price. In Switzerland, consumers place more emphasis on the quality of the service. The price is almost secondary. [Distributors and supermarkets have now] understood and stopped fighting over prices."

“It’s never satisfying to have the same prices everywhere,” noted Competition Commission member and Grand Councillor of Vaud Florence Bettschart-Narbel. She concluded that for people to get the best prices, consumers will have to shop around at different stores to find the best discounts at the best time.

Thumb image credit: Sorbis /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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