Enormous differences in St. Maarten supermarket prices

POSTED: 04/20/16 5:06 PM

St. Maarten News – The government publishes regularly a price overview of products in local supermarkets. The latest overview appears on the government information page in this newspaper today. The list details 68 different products at ten different supermarkets and it highlights where each product is the cheapest. The price differences are at times shocking.

If consumers bought all these 68 products in the quantities specified in the overview at the lowest prices they would spend 322 guilders and 41 cents. But if they bought the same products at the highest possible prices, they would spend 496 guilders and 82 cents – a difference of 54.1 percent.

The overview shows that it is worth one’s time to shop around, instead of buying all groceries at the same place.

The most outrageous price difference we found was a whopping 172.3 percent. The product is a box of twelve medium sized eggs. At the Fresh Market in Madame Estate they cost 1 guilder and 95 cents. Shoppers at Sang’s Super Center on the Juancho Yrausquin Boulevard have to pay 5 guilders and 31 cents for the same product.

The next largest price difference is 158.9 percent. Now we admit, few people will buy garlic by the kilo, but this is the price listed in the overview. Three supermarkets – Cake House, Fresh Market and the Afoo Food Market split with the stuff for 7 guilders and 20 cents. But the Lido in Maho charges its customers an astonishing 18 guilders and 64 cents.

For three products we found price differences from 120 to 121 percent. A kilo of pork chops goes for 8 guilders and 85 cents at Le Grand Marché on Bush Road, but at Carrefour Market in Cole Bay – formerly also a Grand Marché – the chops cost 19 guilders and 48 cents.

Ground beef goes for 8 guilders and 99 cents at both Le Grand Marché and Carrefour Market, but the Premier Supermarket on the Brouwers Road charges 19 guilders and 80 cents.

The third example: a dozen large eggs; at the Fresh Market they cost 2 guilders and 65 cents, at Sang’s Super Center 5 guilders and 85 cents.

Five other products are listed with price differences between 100 and 108 percent.

Let’s start with the ‘smallest’ price difference. The Premier Supermarket sells a kilo of onions for 2 guilders and 25 cents, but at the Daily Extra Supermarket in Cole Bay consumers have to fork over 4 guilders and 50 cents.

Next: a kilo of tomatoes. At Carrefour Market they go for 4 guilders and 50 cents, at Lido in Maho for 9 guilders and 9 cents.

A kilo of cabbage (1.99 at Carrefour Market) costs 4 guilders and 14 cents at Lido.

A 15 oz. pot of Kraft mayonnaise goes over the counter at the Premier Supermarket for 4 guilders and 50 cents, but at Lido in Maho the same product is priced at 9 guilders and 36 cents.

Lastly, a kilo of carrots. At Sunny Food on Illidge Road they are up for grabs for 2 guilders and 75 cents, but Sang’s Super Center takes 5 guilders and 95 cents for the same product.

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