If you do understand the difference between your (hopefully newly trim) derrière and the (probably dry feeling) joint in the middle of your arm, Secrets of Your Supermarket Shop (Dispatches, 8pm, C4, 21 January), wasn’t for you. Indeed, I doubt even those who DON’T know their arse from their elbow would have got anything out of it.
In this sub-Newsbeat ‘documentary’, Tazeen Ahmad set out to “investigate” how transparent supermarket fruit & veg prices are, whether fresh produce can be bought more cheaply elsewhere and, apropos of nothing, the price we pay for convenience.
Given the simplicity of the task, it was astonishing what a hash she made of it. First she declared she’d be comparing prices across a number of stores, then she spouted some random stats about the supermarkets’ profits and how much we spend on fruit & veg, and then we heard how difficult shoppers find it to compare prices at a glance. Cue a dash around the shops to show how baffling it is to be confronted by a mixture of prices by weight, individual item and pack.
There is a valid point to be made here. But Ahmad didn’t make it, instead confusing viewers by bombarding them with endless stats, vox pops and expert comments. As for the revelation that markets are often cheaper than supermarkets and c-stores pricier, as one bloke posted on the C4 website: “It just stated what I have always known. It was really shocking that the presenter, an intelligent woman, didn’t know this.”
It was more than shocking. It was disgraceful.