SUPERMARKETS are selling small bottles of water for more than four times the cost of bigger ones, a Sun on Sunday probe reveals.
Experts warn the trick may leave shoppers hundreds of pounds out of pocket every year.
In M&S a 1ltr Still Scottish Mountain Water sold from the chiller costs £1 — while a 2ltr bottle from the shelf is half that. The cost per 100ml works out four times higher.
Sainsbury’s Caledonian water is 50p for 500ml with the 2ltr even cheaper at 45p — more than four times higher per 100ml.
In Morrisons, a Yorkshire Vale water costs 30p for 500ml while the 2ltr bottle is only slightly more, 45p.
M&S is also doing it with other drinks. A 500ml Diet Coke costs £1.50, 30p per 100ml, compared to £1 for a 1.25l bottle, which is just 8p per 100ml.
The store’s 500ml Diet Sparkling Pink Cranberry Lemonade costs £1.15, 23p per 100ml, compared to 80p for its 1ltr version, again 8p per 100ml.
In many cases the pricier bottles were placed in fridges near the front of the stores so they can be easily grabbed. The bigger ones were further away from the exit.
Consumer groups urged shoppers to avoid chilled drinks, which are typically sold with lunch options.
Oli Townsend, deals writer at MoneySaving- Expert.com, said: “Supermarkets will often charge a premium for items they deem a ‘convenience’, such as smaller bottles in the chiller aisle. They know shoppers are likely to grab it on the go without thinking twice.
“As larger, non-chilled cheaper bottles aren’t usually in the same aisle, it makes it difficult to compare prices, and realise just how much you’re overpaying for the same drink in different-sized packaging.
“Look elsewhere in the same shop, and plan ahead so you don’t end up out of pocket.”
An M&S spokesman said: “We price-match our products against other retailers, and always aim to offer customers choice.”
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