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Shoppers price survey for Spirits and Liqueurs in Calais, France – Day-tripper.net

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Spirits and Liqueur – price survey

Spirits can be much cheaper in France, but not always. For the best value items see our "Best Value" page.

May 2012 – some superb offers on at PIDOU Wine Beer. All 1lt. Courvoisier £23.41 (U.K. £33.00) Baileys £11.44 (U.K. £17.00), Jack Daniels £20.73 (U.K. 32.30). Whilst not all spirits are cheaper or the savings large in all cases, there are clearly still some big savings to be made both on the ferries and in Calais.

Other reasons for shopping in France are the range and quality of goods available. However savings possibilities mean a lot more to most British shoppers, which is a pity given the wider choice available in French supermarkets. This is especially true with regard to champagnes and sparkling wines, as the selection available in United Kingdom supermarkets is dire in comparison. Whilst it is true champagne and spirits can be cheaper in the United Kingdom sometimes, this is usually dependent on special offers for a limited period. Before Xmas 2009 for example, we were told it was no longer worth buying champagne in France as the highly selective price comparisons quoted, suggested it was more expensive popping across the channel. A few weeks later we did a little survey and found that shoppers would still save 20% buying branded champagnes in France. Perhaps this is why about £1 of the cost of an average bottle of wine in the United Kingdom goes on marketing.

Spirit prices increased considerably in 2009 in France. We remain firmly of the opinion that with a little bit of research BEFORE you cross the channel considerable savings can still be made and a good day out enjoyed as well.

United Kingdom budget 2010 – Duty on beer, wine and spirits increased in March 2010. Alcohol duties will also increase by 2% above inflation for two further years from 2013. webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk

According to our calculations this means that a bottle of spirits now costing £20 will in 2014, after the last 2% increase cost 10.41% more in real terms or £22.08.

March 2010 – Fancy that! Once again we find the PR puff from British supermarkets is just untrue. Courvoisier Brandy (1lt) is £20 at Pidou Wine and Beer in Calais (an offer this month). At Sainsbury's in Calais it costs £21.99 (at Sainsbury's United Kingdom it is on offer – £5 off – and still costs £24.26). At Tesco United Kingdom a 70 cl bottle costs £22.87. So there we have it once again, shop in Calais and save money, in the case of a litre bottle of Courvoisier comparing the cheapest in the United Kingdom with the cheapest in Calais, you will save about 18%.

Best Buys; Most alcohol products are good buys in France. Excessively high excise rates in the United Kingdom make it worthwhile travelling to France to buy wine, and most beers. Spirits have since January 2009, often been more expensive though. In general expect to save 10 to 20% in France. However when there are special offers (especially two for one) prices in the United Kingdom can be cheaper by 5 to 15%.

The range however remains very much better than in United Kingdom shops (just look at the rum, champagne and sparkling wines and cognac sections for example).

For example in October 2009 Bailey's Irish Cream (1lt) was £18 at Tesco. In Calais it averaged £15.31 at the prevailing exchange rate (1.06), so was 12.33% cheaper in France (or 14% more in the United Kingdom). However, if you were lucky enough to get to Sainsbury's where there was a two for one offer, equating to £14 a bottle, then you would have saved 11.28% compared with the average French price.

2009 July – Savings on spirits are not as good as they use to be, and shoppers need to be careful. Look for the offers, not just at home in the United Kingdom but in the French Hypermarkets and on board the ferries. I bought some Martini Extra dry (better than white wine, in cooking) for example. The one litre bottle costs £8.99 at Tesco's in London, £8.92 at Auchan Hypermarket in Calais, and £5.00 (an offer – buy 2 for £10) in the shop onboard PO Ferries. Even when the offer is not on, the price on board is excellent at £6.29 for a one litre bottle. With a little bit of research before you go excellent savings can be made (I was able to check the prices online at Tesco's United Kingdom, Auchan Hypermarket in Calais, and on the PO Ferries website (click offers, then shopping).

2009 – French Excise duty up 23%. The good news is that this will see a very small increase in the price of wine in France as duties are negligible on wines. Spirts or any high strength wines will be affected though. A 40% proof bottle of spirits will see its end value price rise by about 12%.

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 We often check the wines recommended in newspapers, they are always MUCH cheaper in France.

Budget news

Good news for channel shoppers in the budget (2008). Spirits are up a whopping 55 pence (a bottle 70cl). This wipes out the increases we have seen in France because of the exchange rate recently.

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.

Related site pages

WineChampagneBeerSpiritsWhisky

Notes

Supermarkets generally offer the best prices. Many of the own brand French goods are good value. Prices indicated are only changed when there is decisive shift in value.

Try the local spirit "Genièvre de Houlle", a juniper gin distilled in Houlle near St. Omer (you can even visit the distillery. Tel: 0033 321 93 01 71). A locally produced apéritif is "Perlé de Groseille", a champagne like drink made from red currants.

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 Day-tripper.net has carried out considerable in depth research, they should be seen as a guide only and not definitive.

Survey of Spirit prices in Calais, France

Bacardi – Dubonet (Best value products)

Product
Bacardi White Rum – 37.5º. www.bacardi.com
Bacardi White Rum – 37.5º
Bailey's Irish Cream – 17º. www.baileys.com
Bailey's Irish Cream – 17º
Benedictine – 40º
Benedictine – 40º

– Campari 25º. www.campari.com

Campari – 25º
Cinzano Bianco 16º. www.camparigroup.com
Cinzano Bianco 16º
Cinzano Rosso 16º

– Cointreau 40º. www.cointreau.com

Cointreau – 40º
Drambouie 40º. www.drambuie.com
Drambouie – 40º
Dubonet – 16º
Dubonet – 16º

Gin

– Gin, Beefeater 40º. www.beefeatergin.com

Gin – Beefeater – 40º
Gin – Gilbeys – 37.5º
Gin – Gilbeys – 37.5º
Gin – Gordons – 37.5º
Gin – Gordons – 37.5º
Grand Marnier – Vodka (Best value products)
Product

– Grand Marnier 40º. www.grand-marnier.com

Grand Marnier – 40º
Grand Marnier – 40º
Martini Bianco – 16º
Martini Bianco – 16º
Martini Extra Dry
Martini Extra Dry
Martini Rosé – 16º
Martini Rosé – 16º
Martini Rosso – 16º
Pernod 15º. www.pernod-ricard.com
Pernod – 15º
PIMM's No 1 – 25º
PIMM's No 1 – 25º
Port – Cockburn special reserve
Port – Taylors 1994 Late Bottled
Port – Grahams 1994 Late Bottled. www.grahams-port.com

– Ricard 45. www.ricard.fr

Rum – Lamb's Navy
Rum – Malibu Rum. www.malibu-rum.com
Rum – Malibu
Sherry – Harvey's Bristol Cream 17.5º
Tia Maria – 26.5º
Tia Maria – 26.5º
Vodka – Smirnoff Red 37.5º. www.smirnoff.com
Vodka – Smirnoff red – 37.5º

See the Best Value page for the best buys. P and O Ferries have by far the biggest range of spirits to choose from of all the ferry companies, but there are considerably more own label and unusual brands in the hypermarkets to choose from. We have listed these prices in £'s – with the ups and downs of the £ be warned that prices may vary. Every care has been taken to ensure that these prices are correct.

Best value spirits sorted by product;
Bacardi White Rum – 37.5º
Bailey's Irish Cream – 17º
Benedictine – 40º
Campari – 25º
Cinzano Bianco – 16º
Cointreau – 40º
Drambouie – 40º
Dubonet – 16º
Gin – Gilbeys – 37.5º
Gin – Gordons – 37.5º
Grand Marnier – 40º
Martini Bianco – 16º
Martini Extra Dry
Martini Rosé – 16º
Pernod – 15º
PIMM's No 1 – 25º
Rum – Malibu
Tia Maria – 26.5º
Vodka – Smirnoff red – 37.5º
Sorted by best value; Sainsbury's United Kingdom Auchan

%

Cheaper

Campari – 25º
Pernod – 15º
Rum – Malibu
Grand Marnier – 40º
Benedictine – 40º
Cointreau – 40º
Bailey's Irish Cream – 17º
Drambouie – 40º
Tia Maria – 26.5º
PIMM's No 1 – 25º
Gin – Gilbeys – 37.5º
Dubonet – 16º
Cinzano Bianco – 16º
Bacardi White Rum – 37.5º
Martini Bianco – 16º
Martini Rosé – 16º
Gin – Gordons – 37.5º
Vodka – Smirnoff red – 37.5º
Martini Extra Dry

Counterfeit products. www.a-cg.com

Alcohol

The dangers:

Many fake bottles of whisky and vodka contain high levels of methanol, a chemical that can cause blindness, coma, and even death. In March 2003, a 42-year-old woman died after drinking counterfeit vodka laced with this substance. John Fox, Principal Trading Standards Officer at Leicester City Council, says: "We've come across drink that called itself vodka which was actually pure methylated spirits. That would cause liver damage, possibly blindness."

How to spot a fake:

As many different alcohol brands are faked, there is no golden rule for identifying counterfeit booze. Look for mistakes on the packaging, especially with logos and designs. In particular, be wary of brands you do not recognise. If in doubt, always buy from a reputable stockist or duty-free outlet.

Useful Outside links

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

rip off britain – Rip-off United Kingdom. www.rip-off.co.uk

Absolute Vodka. www.absolut.com

Bacardi. www.bacardi.com

Baileys Irish Cream. www.baileys.com

Campari. www.campari.com

Cointreau (Museum; Musée Cointreau, 21 Saint Barthelemy Croix Blanche, Bd. des Bretonnieres. Angers. Tel: 0033 241 31 50 50). www.cointreau.com

Drambuie. www.drambuie.com

Grahams Port. www.grahams-port.com

Grand Marnier. www.grand-marnier.com

Rum. www.captainmorgan.com

Sandeman Port. www.sandeman.eu

Useful Links. www.2ndhandshops.co.uk

Tequila. www.itequila.org

Various. www.allieddomecq.com

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