Sunday 13 June 2021

My Pricesmart Index To High Prices in Costa Rica


TICO BULL (BLOG) – I didn’t need the Programa Estado de la Nación (State of the Nation Program) to tell me food prices in Costa Rica are higher than other parts in Latin America.

In my unscientific and probably worth to no one study I used Pricesmart since it has stores across Central America (Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica), the Caribbean and now venturing south, Colombia. The stores are all operated by the same company and, with some regional difference, look all the same and have the same products. Also, my Pricesmart club membership card works in all.

- Advertisement -

Not having a budget like survey companies, I could only do one country, so I chose Colombia. The city of Cali specifically.

So, a few months back, armed my shopping list of a dozen items I normally buy in Costa Rica, I was able to compare prices between Ticolandia and  and the land of the Salsa. No, not the stuff you put on nachos, the dance.

My shopping list included items like nuts, cookies, dog food, toilet paper, pasta, nacho chips and salsa, frozen foods, liquor, soaps, beer, beef (US import), etc. – all items imported from the US, being the same brand name and packaging.

Pricesmart operates four stores in Colombia (45 million plus population), two in Cali, one in Barranquilla and the first store opened last week in Bogota. In Costa Rica (4.7 million population) it operates six stores.

- Advertisement -

What I found was a difference of about 30% less in Colombia over Costa Rica.  Except the roasted chicken.

For some strange reason the roasted chicken was priced higher in Colombia than in Costa Rica. Stranger still was that in Colombia the roasted chicken at Pricesmart was priced about 35% higher than in the supermarkets, while in Costa Rica it is the reverse.

For example, the chicken at Pricesmart was ¢15.000 pesos (US$8 at the then exchange rate), while in Costa Rica it is ¢2.995 (US$5.50).  At the Exito in Colombia, their roasted chicken was ¢9.000 pesos, while in Costa Rica, it is ¢4.000 at Masxmenos and ¢5.800 at Automercado.

My great Colombian friend working at Pricesmart in Escazú laughed at the reason I was given for the high price of chicken at the Pricesmart Cali store: their chicken is imported! Yeah, from Medellin or Bogota, maybe.

My survey may not be scientific, but what I do know is that every time I go to the supermarket in Costa Rica I have to bring more colones with me.

Article first appeared at Tico Bull, reposted with permission

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Today’s Vehicle Restriction: June 13, “EVENS”

Today, Sunday, June 13, only EVENS can circulate. The measure is countrywide...

On Monday the vehicle restriction will change, again

QCOSTARICA - In times of pandemic, things change constantly, especially when...


Simple to request certification of vaccines against covid-19 applied in Costa Rica and abroad

QCOSTARICA - The Ministry of Health issued a new guideline on Thursday that establishes the requirements to request the vaccination certificate against covid-19 in...

Tourism’s path to recovery

QREPORTS - A new travel trends research paper released today by Tripadvisor®, the world's largest travel guidance platform, reveals that vaccine rollouts globally are...

Bukele advisers tried to leave Costa Rica with false covid-19 tests

QCOSTARICA - Two Costa Ricans who advise the government of Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele were arrested this Tuesday at the Juan Santamaría (San Jose)...

Costa Rica cannot feel safe from covid-19 before having about 80% of population vaccinated

QCOSTARICA - No doubt, vaccines are one of the most powerful tools to maintain control of Covid-19, but when it comes to entire populations,...

Which countries could follow El Salvador by making it legal tender?

Q24N - El Salvador may be the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, but recent developments suggest that it might not be...

Apple extended the life of its older iPhones

QTECH - Whether due to the global economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic or due to shortages of electronic components, raw materials, factory...

New Television Program To Promote Family Fun

Q ENTERTAINMENT - Attention families of Costa Rica! A new contest program, led by Douglas Sánchez and Verónica González, is looking for participants who...

Your cell phone can now notify you if you had contact with a positive case of covid-19

QCOSTARICA - Fifteen months after the national emergency against covid-19 was declared, Costa Ricans will have a digital platform where you can be notified...

Figueres wins the PLN presidential nomination

QCOSTARICA - Former president, José María Figueres Olsen (1994-1998), on Sunday, became this Sunday the presidential candidate of the Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN) for...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.