CHOICE takes over the management of GROCERYchoice
Rebuild begins with consultation for relaunch in winter.
The first edition of GROCERYchoice under the consumer group CHOICE’s banner will appear from 10am, Feb 2. This interim site will be replaced in the second half of 2009 with a completely revised supermarket price check system.
Consumers and critics alike are being invited to contribute their ideas for the site (grocerychoice.com.au) as CHOICE continues its program of consultation with supermarket stakeholders, consumer and welfare groups around the country.
The move comes as food price inflation is on the boil again with just-released CPI figures showing a 5.6% increase in food prices in the past year.
“Our aim is to create a more transparent, more timely and, where possible, a far more localised service which will be of direct relevance and use to consumers wanting to get the best deal out of the $50 billion a year grocery industry,” said CHOICE spokesman Christopher Zinn.
“The first half of the year is about consulting, designing and building a special-purpose information system with significant enhancements to the current service. To get that right inevitably takes time.”
An initial survey of more than 2000 consumers using the CHOICE website found most wanted to see prices updated at least weekly, and that they were keen for prices to be displayed for individual items and not just baskets of goods.
There were also suggestions for the range of baskets to be expanded to include healthy food categories to help monitor the costs of eating well, green baskets for more sustainable foods and baskets to help compare the price of house brand foods.
The rebranded GROCERYchoice, which will be refreshed on the first business day of each month, will initially feature price information in a similar format as before. It also features consumer comments, a guide to food labels, the best food for kids, advice about free range eggs and more.