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4 in 5 survey respondents think some Coles and Woolworths ‘specials’ make it hard to tell if you’re getting a genuine discount

CHOICE calls for fair and transparent grocery pricing.

Last updated: 20 February 2024

A new survey of almost 11,000 CHOICE supporters has found 83% of respondents think some Coles and Woolworths 'specials' or promotions make it difficult to know if you're getting a genuine discount or value for money.

"While the two major supermarkets each post over a billion dollars in profit, many households are at breaking point from the rising cost of food. To make matters worse, supermarkets are using a number of confusing promotional practices that make it very difficult for customers to work out if they're actually saving money on their groceries or not," says CHOICE Senior Campaigns and Policy Advisor, Bea Sherwood. 

"Over the past year, CHOICE has found countless examples of dodgy and confusing specials at both Coles and Woolworths. In December last year Coles was forced to apologise after we caught them red-handed raising prices on products they had promised would remain 'locked' for a certain period of time," says Sherwood. 

CHOICE has made a submission to the inquiry by the Senate Select Committee on Supermarket Prices and is calling on the government to force supermarkets to use fair and transparent pricing. CHOICE has made a number of recommendations, including:

  • Banning unfair pricing practices, such as 'member-only' discounts 
  • Introducing rules about discounts or other promotion, and how these should be presented
  • Enforcing and expanding the Grocery Unit Pricing Code 
  • Requiring supermarkets to publish historical grocery pricing information
  • Reforming competition and consumer laws to make sure the ACCC has the powers it needs to hold supermarkets to account.

"Consumers deserve clear and transparent pricing so they can be sure they're actually getting value for money. We need new rules to force the supermarkets to provide this transparency, as well as powers for the regulator to make sure the supermarket giants are playing fair," says Sherwood. 

Our submission is available here to read. 

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