HC Deb 20 May 1974 vol 874 cc5-6
3. Mr. McCrindle

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what representations she has received about disparities in the price of identical jars of instant coffee; and what replies she has sent.

Mr. Maclennan

I have received six queries about disparities in the price in different stores of identical jars of instant coffee. It is a popular line for special offers and this in itself makes for a wide range of prices. My Department has explained this in dealing with the queries.

Mr. McCrindle

Would the Minister be interested to know that in a shopping expedition undertaken last week, when eight establishments of different types were visited, the price of a jar of Nescafé "Gold Blend" ranged from 38p to 57p? While accepting that some of that may have been old stock and some new stock, may I ask whether the Minister would be inclined to join me in urging housewives to shop around for this important item of the family budget?

Mr. Maclennan

I have never denied that bargains may be obtained by shoppers. But this is a commodity which is particularly subject to promotions, as I have said. That, I think, largely explains the wide discrepancies to which the hon. Gentleman has drawn attention.