CFA welcomes start of a national education campaign to help grocery shoppers get better value for money

The consumer peak body, the Consumers’ Federation of Australia (CFA), strongly welcomes the start of a new national consumer education campaign aimed at increasing grocery shopper awareness and use of the unit prices provided on shelf labels and the internet by many grocery retailers.

The campaign is being run by the national and state/territory consumer protection regulators from 21 September to 30 October.

It includes a Fact Sheet on the ACCC website https://www.accc.gov.au/publications/saving-money-buying-groceries-how-unit-pricing-helps and social media postings by state and territory consumer affairs agencies.

Unit prices (prices per unit of measure) help consumers to easily and quickly work out the best value for money by comparing prices on a standard basis regardless of pack size, brand or whether sold packaged or loose.

CFA chair, Gerard Brody, says “Unit pricing is a simple easy-to-use tool that is the grocery shopper’s best friend.”

Comparing unit prices can result in significant savings, or getting more or better quality for the same expenditure.

The need to get the best value when buying groceries has never been so great.

Differences in unit prices between products and retailers can be large, and consumers spend around $100 billion a year on groceries, so the consumer benefits can be substantial.

The only other national consumer education campaign on unit pricing was in 2009 when supermarkets and online grocery retailers were first required to provide unit prices for packaged grocery items.

CFA particularly welcomes that the campaign: includes social media; is in several languages; and promotes the use of unit prices to make many different types of value comparisons including between:

  • different brands
  • different package sizes and package types
  • special and normal prices
  • packaged and loose – for example spinach
  • fresh, frozen, dried or canned – for example peas
  • similar and substitute products – for example rice types
  • different convenience levels – for example cheese in blocks/wedges/slices/sticks, or grated or diced
  • different grocery retailers, including online stores.
  • unit prices in different parts of the supermarket. The same product may be sold in different sections, for example, cheese, meats, seafood, nuts, fruit and vegetables.

Media Contacts:

Gerard Brody m 0415 223 211 email chair@consumersfederation.org.au

Ian Jarratt m 0448012482 email ijarratt@australiamail.com