Pricey products: Cinema popcorn most overpriced item

Pricey products: Consumers rank cinema popcorn most overpriced item

  • Alcohol, petrol, and printer ink are included in the list of items with over-inflated prices according to Brits
  • Over a third (39%) are irked by the cost of black cabs, taxis, and utility bills
  • More than half of Brits have noticed price hikes since Brexit

Cinema popcorn, smartphones, and alcohol are among the top items British consumers deem to be the most overpriced, according to a new report.

Leading savings site has published its Overpriced Index, which details the products and services UK consumers believe to have the most over-inflated prices. The full report also looks at the impact ‘the pink tax’, Brexit, Coronavirus, and gentrification have had on the cost of living and the overall price of certain products.

Despite cinemas being closed for over a year, popcorn purchased at the silver screen tops the list of the most overly expensive products. Other cinema treats such as hot dogs, drinks and sweets, are second on the list followed closely by convenience drinks and snacks from a hotel minibar.

The top 10 overpriced products according to consumers

Rank Product



Percentage of consumers who think that the product is overpriced
1. Cinema popcorn 49%
2. Other cinema snacks 45%
3. Hotel minibar drinks and snacks 44%
4. Fuel/petrol 43%
5. Smartphones 39%
6. Printer ink 36%
7. Alcohol 34%
8. Tobacco products 32%
9. Hotel room service 29%
10. Bottled water 29%

The data also shows that although men and women are generally in agreement on the most overpriced goods there are a few items where opinions differ. Men are more likely to think the price of alcohol is inflated with 37% agreeing, in comparison to only 31% of women. On the other hand, women are more likely to say the price of sanitary towels is inflated, with over a third (34%) stating this – only 14% of men agree.

Consumers also agree that certain services charge too much. Nearly two in five (39%) people feel black cabs, taxis, and utilities such as gas and electricity are overly expensive. This is followed by long-distance flights and mobile phone contracts, both at 30%.

Influences such as ‘the pink tax’, gentrification and Brexit have all had an impact on how consumers view the price of goods and services.

Before Brexit came into place on 31st December 2020, more than two-thirds of Brits (67%) were concerned about potential price hikes. Since the UK left the EU, just over half (56%) say they have noticed prices going up.  The most common goods and services Brits have noticed a rise in price for since Brexit include fruit (21%), delivery fees (20%), customs charges (18%), meat (18%), and cheese (17%).

Residents of Belfast are seeing the effects of Brexit more than anyone else in the UK, with nearly three quarters (70%) saying they have noticed price increases in certain products and services since 31st Dec 2020. Following closely behind are those in Scotland who also feel they have been negatively affected, with people in Edinburgh and Glasgow reporting rising costs at 63% and 61% respectively.

On the other hand, nearly one in five (18%) Brits have seen a price decrease in certain products and services thanks to Brexit. Brummies’ are most likely to notice this price dip with nearly a third (28%) of residents saying so, followed closely by those in Newcastle (24%) and London (24%).

To avoid paying over the odds, millennials are the age group most likely to spend time researching where an item comes from before taking the plunge, with over two in five (41%) admitting they scope out costs before buying. In comparison, those aged between 18 and 24 are least likely to be concerned by increased costs with only 29% of people researching before they buy.

Anita Naik, Lifestyle Editor at VoucherCodes commented: “It’s natural that the cost of goods and services will fluctuate over time, however, it’s interesting to see the items Brits feel are notoriously overpriced. There are many everyday factors that impact our spending, but larger influences such as Brexit, ‘the pink tax’ and the pandemic have led to increases in prices of our favourite products.

“The top items Brits deem to be the most overly expensive are products we buy out of conveniences, such as cinema popcorn, drinks and sweets and even drinks and snacks from hotel minibars.

“However, there are some easy ways to stretch your money that little bit further. Certain items will cost more depending on where you buy them, so it’s always worth shopping around. Thinking ahead and buying snacks at the supermarket before you get to the cinema, for example, can help you save, while still enjoying a sweet treat.”

For more details, the full Overpriced Index report can be found here