Coles and Woolworths say they're committed to sourcing their private label products from Australia. But as CHOICE discovers, this isn't the whole story.
CHOICE looked at more than 360 products across popular grocery categories, including cereals, biscuits, snacks, tinned goods and frozen packaged food, matching private label products to their market leader equivalents.
Of products we surveyed, just 55% of Coles’ products and 38% of Woolworths products were locally made or grown, compared with 92% per cent of market leader groceries. We included any product that was made in Australia or included Australian-grown ingredients. But these products may still include other ingredients from overseas.
Click on the coloured pins to find out which products are made where. View CHOICE County of Origin in a larger map, or download our table for even more detail.
Around the world
For products to claim they are "made" in Australia, the product must have undergone substantial transformation and 50% of processing costs here. If the product includes ingredients from outside Australia, or the specified country of origin, "imported ingredients" must be noted on the packaging, however the exact source of such ingredients is not required.
Australians are predicted to
spend $85.9bn on groceries
this financial year, with
private label sales expected
to account for just over one-quarter of
this amount – double what we spent on
home-brand products five years ago.
While dry grocery items and chilled
packaged food categories have proven
themselves the strongest private label
performers over this time, raising
supermarket profits but also question
marks over where they come from. While
a commitment to Australian products is
evident in the fresh produce sections of
the big two supermarkets, this loyalty is
not so easy to find in some other aisles.
Coles told CHOICE it has an Australia first sourcing policy that extends to all
private label products, of which it claims
90% are locally made or grown. According
to the 2011 All About Coles report, “we
will always try to source products locally
and only import if Australian supply is
insufficient to meet our customers’ needs”.
Similarly, the Woolworths Sustainable Strategy for 2007-15 claims Woolies
to our long-standing
policy of giving
preference to Australian
vendors who can meet
our supply requirements”
terms to local
vendors for private
label goods. It
claims 90% of