The anti-wrinkle Sisbela cream, a brand sold exclusively in the grocery store chain owned by Valencia-based Juan Roig and manufactured by the company Star Healthcare, is now mostly out of stock after the creators revealed it is the same as another product it makes, called Alain.
Officially, Alain anti-ageing cream sells for €84.90, although it can be found in cosmetics shops for €60 – although this is still 12 times the price it goes for in Mercadona under another name.
The secret in the price difference is that Mercadona buys in huge quantities, meaning the reduction in its profit from individual sales effectively means it earns more because of the volume shifted.
“Selling 400 units is not the same as selling 5,000,” Star Healthcare told Catalunya-based daily newspaper La Vanguardia.
“But it’s exactly the same product,” the firm stressed.
Mercadona said: “It offers the same activity and level of effectiveness; the only thing different about it is the scent.”
Once again, Mercadona’s ‘Star’ cosmetic product shows that it is not always necessary to break the bank to obtain the best possible skincare régime.
For several years now, consumer giant OCU has rated moisturisers from every price range and consistently found that the Cien Q10 collection sold in cut-price German supermarket chain Lidl is the most effective of all.
This retails at just €2.99 and, when the OCU first revealed its findings, shoppers were literally queuing outside their local branches of Lidl to get their hands on a jar of it.
The OCU report led to the Cien Q10 brand being sold out in hours and Lidl having to constantly replenish stocks, putting up notices advising it had run out but that more was on the way.
Now Mercadona’s €5 Sisbela cream has turned out to be the same as a top designer version but with different packaging, the ‘Cien Q10 effect’ has returned.