Queensland Consumers’ Ian Jarratt on the value of unit pricing, and the need to improve and extend it.
If I could say one thing ..
Check out Ian’s If I could say one thing segment on the ABC’s consumer show The Checkout.
And if I could say one thing more …
Ian responds to the Australian Financial Review – an edited version of this letter was published in the AFR
Food prices being an issue in the 2007 election, (Critical Time for Consumer Champion, Chanticleer, 5 June) resulted in a long overdue and very beneficial economic reform – the mandatory provision of unit pricing (price per unit of measure) on shelf labels for pre-packaged grocery products in large supermarkets.
Compulsory unit pricing started in December 2009, after being recommended by an ACCC inquiry, and is provided in addition to the pack price.
As a result, millions of consumers now regularly use unit prices to easily compare the value of package sizes, brands, types of packaging, packaged/unpackaged products, and special offers/regular prices.
So, unit pricing has undoubtedly greatly increased price transparency for consumers and fostered competition between retailers, brands, and manufacturers.
However, consumer use would be even greater if unit prices were easier for consumers to notice and read.
The, ACCC monitored, Unit Pricing Code requires that all unit prices be easy to notice and read, but too many still do not pass this test.
Consumers and the economy would benefit if improving the existing mandatory grocery unit pricing scheme, and extending the concept to large chemist shops and hardware stores, were issues in the 2013 election.