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Shoppers price survey for food and other products in Calais, France –

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Fresh and tinned fish – price surveys

July 2011. Fresh tuna and prawns are much cheaper in France. We have always recommended buying fresh fish in France. Not only is there a very much bigger range available but prices offer big savings. I bought some tuna steaks yesterday costing 16 euro (about £14.40) at Auchan Hypermarket. At Sainsbury's U.K. tuna steaks cost £22.00 a kilogram, or 53% more. Put another way, shop in France when buying tuna steaks and save 35%. Prawns? Try the large Ecuadorian prawns at Auchan Hypermarket with their shells on. Cost? 12.99 euro a kilogram or £11.81. At Sainsbury's, de headed but with the shells on the tails, prawns cost £17.86 a kilogram. We prefer the shells as they make a great stock to add to risotto. In other words they cost 52% more in the U.K.

Many food products are cheaper in France. This survey will help you find the best value items. We also list the main words and terms you will find on a French label.

– Mr. Goodfish is a worthwhile and most helpful campaign to encourage shoppers and restaurants to buy and use fish that is sustainable. They encourage responsible consumers to choose those products which are readily available and according to their seasonality (you do not help preserve fish stocksif you eat them when they are breeding). They suggest it is important to introduce a wider range of fish types into your diet. We found the information provided helpful and clear in its objectives.

Leaflets and more information is available at Nausicaa Aquarium in Boulogne which is actively involved in initiatives to preserve and study marine life. When there, pick up the leaflets about "Mr Goodfish".

Food to buy when in France – anchovies, baby food, biscuits, bottled water, cat litter, chocolate, most dairy products, cheese, juices, ground coffee, cous cous, rice, mashed potato, Nesquick, packet soups, salt, sugar, pasta, jam, mustard, mayonnaise, Nutella spread, olive oil, oil, pasta sauces, salad dressings, most soft drinks, tinned sweet corn.

DON'T BUY – smoked salmon, dog food, cereal, concentrated milk, ketchup, tinned tuna and sardines.

Don't overload! – more

Best Buys – watch the price, but in general tuna and large prawns are very good value. Smoked fish is also cheaper. We paid £2.09 for smoked trout (100g) in Auchan Calais – it costs £2.59 in Sainsbury London (24% more in the United Kingdom).

2008 – Prices in France – is it worth doing your grocery shopping in Calais?

It's easy to say the lousy exchange rate makes it worthwhile shopping at home. Wrong. Prices vary considerably and even the lousy exchange rate has not affected our view that its cheaper shopping in France. Just check your shopping from France with local prices in the United Kingdom.

Fresh food tends to come unprepared in France. It's almost impossible to get prawns in their shells in the United Kingdom for example, they are all shelled and frozen it seems. However buy them in France fresh and they cost 22% less than in the United Kingdom (or 28% more in the United Kingdom compared with France).

CREDIT CARDS – we suggest you ring your credit card company before shopping in France – increased fraud means they are turning down shoppers cards if their spending deviates from the norm. Take your mobile – you can often sort the problem out over the phone.


Prices of fresh fish and tinned fish can be very attractive in French supemarkets.

Doing surveys and comparing products between countries is often very difficult. Not only do package sizes vary, but content as well sometimes. Special Offers distort prices temporarily. We have used the French sizes as a standard and worked out the English price pro-rata. Where it is impossible to adjust for differences (size of pineapples for example) we list the United Kingdom and French prices. We suggest you print these pages and take them with you as a rough guide. In general, French hypermarket labels are more informative and will show you the price per litre or kilogram as well (United Kingdom prices often just the item price), United Kingdom products come in smaller sizes, and there is less of a choice.

Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of these surveys, and has carried out considerable in depth research, they should be seen as a guide only and not definitive.

Survey of food prices in Calais supermarkets

Shop -


Auchan % cheaper in France

Buy in France


Smoked Salmon – Scottish 150g

Useful Outside links

– Check out the latest catalogue / leaflet offers (PDF).

rip off britain – Rip off United Kingdom.

fish shop calais – La Pisciculture, fish cultivation organisation.

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