CCPC: “Not seen any indications” to suggest “excessive pricing” in Ireland’s grocery sector

"Irish consumers expect a clear, if limited, easing in inflation in the year ahead," writes Austin Hughes

"Good evidence that some elements of competition in the sector have improved in recent years," states CCPC



29 June 2023

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A new report by Ireland’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) finds it has “not seen any indications to suggest that “excessive pricing” is occurring in the grocery retail sector as a result of an abuse of dominance”.

The report likewise concluded that “the CCPC has seen no indication to suggest market failure in the grocery retail sector”.

In fact, the commission added “there is good evidence that some elements of competition in the sector have improved in recent years and brought significant consumer benefits”.

The report pointed out that the data available on profit margins is limited and no public data from full audited accounts is available on 2023 margins. However, the CCPC stated that the figures that are available (relating to previous years trading and in some cases preliminary results for 2022/23) do “not suggest that margins are notably high when compared with similar traders internationally or compared to different sectors although any conclusions on margins should be treated with caution”.

The CCPC concluded that “based on the evidence considered for this analysis, the grocery retail sector is not currently a priority for an in-depth market study, which entails redeployment of resources and approximately 18 months or more to complete. However, given its importance as a sector and subject to resources, we would intend to include it in our work by developing a high-level competition profile, which would include interviews with market players, consumer surveys and a review of market figures including 2023 profit figures after audited accounts are available.”

RGDATA director general Tara Buckley said the CCPC report clearly shows that there is no “greedflation” or “price gouging” taking place within Ireland’s grocery sector.

“The report does state that input costs are particularly high in Ireland and we urge the government to address this – particularly in areas where it is government policies or new regulations that are inflating costs,” Buckley said.

The report can be viewed here.




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