Bad Value at Dunnes


Dunnes StoresNow, I don’t mean to single Dunnes Stores out for criticism. They do have some good offers on.  I really like that they’re selling Irish grown herbs rather than flying them over from Kenya and Israel, and the choice – especially in Cornelscourt in south Dublin – is quite wide.

But alarm bells rang in my head on a shop there last night. I noticed they were trying to shift these fruit hampers for €19.99, and something seemed amiss. The hamper contained about four pears, four oranges, two mandarin oranges, a pineapple, a mango, three kiwis, five apples, and an avacado. When I totted up the cost of these items individually, it came to €14.27.

So, that’s €5.72 for packaging: a cheapy basket and a layer of cellophane wrapping. You’ll often get these baskets for free from pharmacies and with gift-wrapping. If you’d like to give a gift of a basket of fruit, pick up the basket elsewhere and fill it yourself – either in Dunnes or at a cheaper store such as Lidl or Aldi.

Then I went to get some free-range chicken breasts. A big sign was advertising 1450g of free-range breasts down from €6.29 to €4.29. But they were long gone. Right beside it, 420g of three free-range chicken breasts were €10.49. We use the swizz tag here at CheapEats very, very reluctantly, but this seems to fit that bill. How on earth can Dunnes explain these price disparities? How can they afford to sell chicken for €6.29 yet less than a third that amount costs 60% more? Was it a misprint? Is there some sort of magical supplier secret that Dunnes couldn’t possibly share the details of with us mere customers? Have they just been caught out? Maybe there’s a really good and fair reason. I’d love to hear.

Have you noticed any bad value in any Irish supermarkets of late?


  1. Good observation Peter, however, may I suggest we don’t buy ANY fruit, or veg for that matter, in Aldi or Lidl at all. While they may be cheap, their produce lack any real flavor. I find many of the local independent F&V suppliers to be as cheap and far superior in quality and most importantly, tatse.

  2. something that would make an intesting test would be, getting identical products from somewhere like aldie and a local store just to see how much of taste is in the mind, how many people could realy tell the difference i wonder.

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