The cost of living in Gibraltar – food prices

The cost of living in Gibraltar – food prices

The big cheese on the name brands is Morrison’s supermarket, located on reclaimed ground, with a huge convenient carpark and all the signs and indications that this is the same as Morrison’s UK, but there is a catch.  It’s really, really expensive.

The cost of living in Gibraltar is high in comparison to other parts of the UK, understandable, good climate, small place, in demand, therefore wages tend to be lower and rents higher.  But generally we don’t expect to see jars of Marmite retail at around £5, which has been known.

The simplicities of culinary delight such as fish fingers £6 for a pack of 10 are unheard of back on the mainland UK.  There are two major supermarkets in Gibraltar, Morrison’s, the well known UK brand name, synonymous with value cut price, but unfortunately the company logo is where the resemblance ends, and then there is Eroski, a spanish brand name.

The former, Morrisons, is nothing to do with or anything like Morrisons UK, it is as expensive as the Food Halls of Harrods, and there is a very good reason for this.  Morrisons Gibraltar is a tourist attraction.  Day trip coaches and families from the Costa del Sol travelling by car, flood into Gibraltar for their Marmite and Heinz, seemingly unaware that all the UK products are available in Spain, and Morrisons Gibraltar know this and charge a high premium for all the usual basics that are a fraction of the price back in the UK.

Their reasoning is that it costs a lot of money to transport the goods by lorry from the UK.  But why is it that their spanish counterparts don’t charge anywhere near as much for the same and yet are in the same geographical dilemma?

More perplexing, why do the Brits flood down, travelling miles and miles in the hot sun, fight the border queue and then pay through the nose for a jar of Marmite?  Maybe they are paying for the privilege of being served in English, perhaps that makes the Marmite taste all the better.  But in recent times, finally a genuine alternative has sprung up, Eroski.

Eroski is part of the Waitrose group.  How ironic!  The old joke back in the UK was that Marks and Spencers food chain was created to keep the peasants out of Waitrose, that’s how posh and expensive it is back in the good old UK, and yet here in Gibraltar it is a breath of fresh air.  Finally some competition for Morrisons, finally Marmite available elsewhere at normal prices.  Finally an end to the monopoly.

But even Eroski is still more expensive that Spain, for exactly the same products, but for Gibraltarians too tired to cross the border just for shopping, Eroski is a blessing.  Although Eroski is a spanish brand and Morrisons tries to have that British feel, nothing really feels the same as a UK supermarket, it’s just not quite that way down this neck of the woods, but then you wouldn’t expect any less.  When in Rome :)

It’s not all bad,  there are a few lost leaders in Morrisons, and it is definitely worth a visit, but is packed and has very narrow isles with longer queues than the frontier.  Maybe they should fit a webcam so people can check delays and inflation prices before setting off to do the family shop.

Things to consider before moving out here and to take into account of the household budget.

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The cost of living in Gibraltar - food prices
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The cost of food prices in Gibraltar. Information for people thinking of relocating or moving to Gibraltar.
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