The Great Milk Rip-Off

Have you noticed the price of milk has suddenly increased over the last few months?

Around Jan/Feb of 2023, milk prices for a fresh 2l bottle of milk were around the R26-R30 range with the premium brands like Clover hovering around that R31/R32 mark.

Now, most 2L milk products are around R34-R39 with the occasional special price around the R31/R32 mark.

That around a 17% price increase , but there are some red flags that have popped up on my radar that confirm that supermarkets are ripping consumers off when it comes to everyone’s favourite cold white liquid!

Housebrands Se P#%s!

(pics taken on 18 May 2023 at Checkers Neighbourhood)

One of the biggest red flags with milk is the apparent confusion suffered by house brands in this market. Originally, house brands were implemented to deliver a quality product , but at a lower cost as the branding on the products contributes to the base cost and therefore makes the price a little higher.

But it seems that over time, our ‘friendly’ (sic) supermarket brands like Checkers, Pick N Pay and Spar, have cottoned on to tbe profit train and decided (Like our government) to f*ck the consumer in the ass with no warning – or lubrication!

There was always the idea that if you needed to buy a product and couldn’t afford your favourite brand, you could buy a housebrand product for less, but still enjoy a reasonable ‘replica’.

Not any more!

I often see the house brand milk products priced HIGHER than the regular brands and this is commonplace practice across all the chains.

This, like many other elements of our lives in the country, has become nothing more than a source of profit for brands, with no concern for their customers that pour billions of Rand into their profit coffers every year!

How The Milk Price Manipulates Consumers Into Buying Particular Brands

Here’s how it works.

You head to the milk fridge in your local supermarket and start perusing the prices. Unless Clover is doing a special, it is usually the highest priced of the 2L milks available.

The others are Dewfresh, Douglasdale and Bosparadys and then the house brand.

In days gone by, the house brand was typically a Rand or two cheaper than the other brands and this made it attractive for shoppers wanting to save those extra few rands.

Now, it seems that the milk producers and supermarkets have colluded and can manipulate their customers into higher probability of purchasing a specific brand using the price.

Scenario 1 :

For example ( and this was a real example) , the Checkers house brand milk is R34-99 ; Douglasdale is R32-99 ; Dewfresh is R33-99 l Bosparadys is R30-99 and Clover was R35-99.

So, based on the above, you would probably opt for the cheapest one at R30-99.

On this example, the house brand which is SUPPOSED to be the better value option is clearly not, only being one Rand cheaper than the premium brand Clover!

How the f*ck is that caring about your consumers – as their very extensive and expensive marketing campaigns would have you believe?

Scenario 2 :

You walk to the milk fridge and you see the following :

House Brand – R35-99 (YEAH!)

Douglasdale – R34-99

Dewfresh – R34-99

Bosparadys – R34-99

Clover – R32-99

Which do you buy?

Yep! The Clover!

In your consumer brain, you’re getting the best product for the lowest price and guaranteed that around 70% to 80% of shoppers buying milk that day or that week, will opt for the cheaper priced premium brand!

The nett result? Clover sells more that week!

And yet, these milk producers all work with the same fundamental costs and yet their prices can fluctuate like this virtually week on week!

Here’s The Proof

Still not convinced?


In Edenvale where I have lived for the past 25 years, there is a Fruit and Veg store called Glenvale Hyper, they’re on Harris Ave , opposite Liquor City in Karaglen.

They are a single shop with nowhere NEAR the buying power of a mega-chain store and YET- they consistently sell 2L milk for around the R30 mark-usually Dewfresh or Bosparadys.

How is it then, that a small independent store can sell the same product as the mega-chain stores for LESS on average?


They are not part of this collusive profiteering practice.

Do the exercise yourself.

The next time you are in your ‘favourite’ supermarket , take note of the milk prices. Compare the so-called ‘house brands’ to the others and see which one you buy based on the price.

Then the next time you go there, see if those prices have changed over the past 7 days and perhaps that little light will finally switch on.

Supermarkets are making millions in profit by exploiting the very people they claim are their ‘family’, but perhaps now, you will be a little more aware and make some smarter buying choices.

And, if you think this is limited to milk only, think again.

Supermarkets ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND no matter what their gushy, emotionally exploitative messaging tells you.

And that’s the Joburg Truth!

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