This is how the Apps work to save purchases in the supermarket | your technology | Country

Food prices hit record highs. Although this increase lost steam in January with the VAT cut, it still exceeded 15%. Avoiding an inflationary avalanche may seem like an impossible task. There are some apps to compare prices of products in the supermarket and save to the shopping cart. EL PAÍS tested how SoySuper, OCU Market and Findit App work.

I’m super

SoySuper is designed to compare supermarket prices with online selling service in Spain—Mercadona, Carrefour, Alcampo, Eroski, El Corte Inglés, Condis, DIA, Hipercor, Caprabo—. To start using this app, which is available on both the Play Store and the App Store, the user has to create an account and enter their zip code. Depending on who you enter, one of the supermarkets or other stores will show if they have an online sales service and do distribution in that area.

The user must select a supermarket. In it, you can search for a specific product by typing or stating its name, scanning a barcode if you have it on hand, or within categories such as “appetizers,” “pasta, rice, and legumes,” or “dairy and eggs.” Food is the sector that usually involves the most spending for Spaniards, according to the consulting firm NielsenIQ. When choosing a particular product, it is possible to see its price in different establishments. Once a shopping list is complete, the app displays the price at that and other supermarkets, what the shipping costs are, and even allows you to place an order.

From EL PAÍS we checked if the prices shown in the app for foods such as milk, rice, pasta or tomatoes and products such as shampoo match supermarket prices. On the web, they’re accurate in most cases, although they sometimes differ by a few cents on some products. It is important to keep in mind that the app is designed for online purchases and not all supermarkets have the same products. So when switching from one to the other a similar alternative may be suggested. In actual stores, in the tests carried out by this newspaper, the prices varied frequently: cartons of milk are about 10 cents more expensive in the supermarket than in an application of olive oil one euro more expensive.

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SoySuper is designed to make a purchase in one supermarket and then change to another store. “You can make two purchases in one day in different supermarkets, but taking into account the current shipping costs (between 6 and 10 euros, depending on the supermarket), from here we recommend making a ‘walking’ purchase, every week or every 15 days , in different supermarkets, depending on prices, shipping costs and the needs of the moment, ”explain its creators.

OCU market

OCU Market is a database of more than 150,000 food and pharmaceutical products. This app, which works in a similar way to SoySuper, is available on both the Play Store and the App Store. If you are not a member of OCU, you must create an account. Then, when searching for a product, the app shows supermarkets near a location where they can be found and their average price online.

The user has two ways to find the food: by typing its name into a search engine or by scanning a barcode. Although the tests carried out by this newspaper with an Android mobile phone worked perfectly, the same did not happen with an iPhone with iOS 16. In the latter case, although the user can search for any product manually , the scanner did not work to read the barcodes of the products.

    User scans the barcode of an oil bottle using the OCU Market app.
User scans the barcode of an oil bottle using the OCU Market app.He goes

When searching for the cost of a bottle of oil, the app displays its price in Alcampo, El Corte Inglés, Hipercor, Día, and Carrefour. Below is a button to view nearby points of sale. When pressed, a map appears showing all of them along with the theoretical price per bottle. In the case of El Día, El Corte Inglés and Carrefour, the price of the product is nailed online, while in Alcampo it is about 15 cents more expensive on the web and in Hipercor, about five cents cheaper. User can save his favorite products.

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One of the strong points of OCU Market is that it also provides nutritional information for each product so that the user can choose healthy options. For example, about how much saturated fat, sugar, salt or additives a food contains. It also includes a product’s Nutriscore rating—a color code associated with letters ranging from green to red according to an algorithm that rates saturated fat, sugar, salt, calories, fiber, and protein per 100g of product—and the NOVA Index., a tool for measuring how well a food has been processed.

find it app

FindIt is designed to compare prices of thousands of products from supermarkets and gas stations so that the user can “save as much as possible”. Spaniards spent 105,000 million euros in 2022, up 9.1% from the previous year, a record high, according to NielsenIQ. Findit is only available on the Play Store, so it cannot be used by users of mobile devices with the iOS operating system. To use it, you must register or sign in with Google. At the moment it works with Carrefour, Mercadona, Día, Consum, Hiperber, Masymas and BM.

The user can find the products by searching for them by name or by scanning the bar code. Each time you pick one up, you can see where to find it and at what price. The app also suggests various related products and allows you to save your favorite listings, products and establishments. Once you put everything you want in the shopping cart, you can check the cost of the purchase in each supermarket.

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When searching for a kilo of SOS rice or a liter of semi-skimmed milk from Pascual, the app pins the price to Carrefour, Día or BM. However, it does not include the nearest supermarket from where the search was made, which is Alcampo. “We are working to include new supermarkets and new features that improve the experience for our users,” say its creators. If there is something that sets this app apart from the previous ones, it has a section where you can check the amount of petrol and diesel at the nearest gas stations.

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