Shoppers at risk of paying twice as much for groceries

Federal Labor urges the Abbott Government to act on new research claiming supermarkets are not complying with a national unit pricing code and are therefore hurting consumers.

It’s up to the Government to verify the research and enforce unit pricing so consumers can get the benefit of competition.

Unit pricing involves retailers providing a price per unit measurement on the price tag, for example – dollars per kilogram – in addition to the sale price.

Under the code, unit pricing information must be prominent and legible, in close proximity to the selling price and unambiguous. 

New research released today by the Queensland Consumer Association (QCA) studied unit pricing in supermarkets in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.

The research found that unit pricing information across supermarkets was patchy and problematic, making it harder for consumers to save money, and reducing the benefits of competition.

The QCA study found far too often the unit price is too difficult to notice or read, not provided for some items and occasionally just wrong.

The QCA has previously found that shoppers who choose packs with the lowest unit price can nearly halve the cost of a basket of groceries.

Armed with this new information, the ACCC has an important role to play cracking down on bad behaviour by food retailers. It must be encouraged to monitor and enforce retailer compliance with the federal code of conduct.

The national unit pricing code covers large supermarkets that are required to provide unit prices, and smaller supermarkets that choose to provide unit prices voluntarily.

Unit pricing was introduced under Labor, and is a simple and effective way to assist individuals and families bring down the cost of their groceries. It must not fall victim to Tony Abbott’s broken promises and twisted priorities.

Joint Media Release with Ed Husic MP, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Treasurer

Thursday, 8 May 2014 

 


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