The commissary monitors and calculates savings on a regional basis, in different geographic areas, at different levels of specificity. The savings figures specific to each geographic area indicate how much, on average, a patron could expect to save on grocery purchases in comparison with local grocers in that area.
We measure savings for a region so we can better monitor how much patrons actually save in the geographic area where they shop. We also periodically check local prices near the installation at major retailers to ensure our pricing compares favorably and our patrons are saving money when they shop their commissary.
Although market forces will always cause prices to fluctuate, Congress has mandated that the commissary maintain savings at levels that are reasonably consistent with the FY 2016 baseline savings level. These savings vary since cost-of-living factors, inclusive of groceries, are influenced by geographic economic factors.
The FY 2018 overall baseline savings for each region are as follows:
(Area: number of commissaries, savings percentage*)
New England: 36, 20.1%
South Atlantic: 30, 19.3%
South Central: 33, 18.1%
Pacific, 31, 21.5%
Mountain: 20, 18.6%
North Central: 18, 20.3%
Alaska / Hawaii: 9, 32.7%
US Average: 177, 20.2%
Overseas: 61, 44.0%
Global Average: 236, 23.9%
*Calculations include applicable taxes in commercial grocery store prices and surcharge in commissary prices.