Consumers want clear comparative pricing when choosing between products


A new international standard on Unit Pricing aims to deliver just this!

Ian Jarratt is a member of the Queensland Consumers Association, which lead the campaign that resulted in large Australian supermarkets being required to provide the unit price (price per unit of measure) on shelf labels etc. He is Consumers International’s expert on ISO PC 294 which is developing an international standard on Unit Pricing and also represents the Consumers Federation of Australia on the Standards Australia Technical Committee CS-116 Unit pricing.

Ian explains why it’s important for consumers to be able to compare the price of products, as easily and as quickly as you can buy them:

The unit price is the price of a product per unit of measure, for example $0.55 per 100g for a pre-packaged 725g carton of breakfast cereal costing $4.

This allows consumers to easily and quickly compare the price and value for money of pre-packaged and other products. For pre-packaged products, it is provided in addition to the selling price. Unit prices often vary greatly, so by comparing unit prices consumers can substantially reduce how much they spend on products, or get more for the same amount of money.

However, far too often unit pricing for pre-packaged products is either not provided at all, or is not easy to notice, read, understand and use, and therefore underused by consumers. An effective, consumer-focused international standard for pre-packaged products will benefit consumers in Australia and other countries in many ways including:

  • facilitating improvements in the quality of the unit pricing of pre-packaged products currently provided by retailers compulsorily or voluntarily;
  • encouraging the provision of effective unit pricing of pre-packaged products by more retailers;
  • increasing and strengthening links with the unit pricing of products sold loose from bulk;
  • increasing competition between retailers and between manufacturers;
  • facilitating international consistency in the provision of unit pricing,

Australian Standards Technical Committee CS-116 Unit pricing is the Australian national mirror committee to ISO PC 294 and Standards Australia provides the secretariat.  Consumers International (CI) is a liaison member

ISO PC 294 will hold its second meeting from 19-21 April in Singapore to discuss the standard’s draft scope and principles.

CFA provides volunteer representatives on Standards Australia Technical Committees as part of the CFA Standards Project. If you are interested in finding out more about the Project and/or becoming a volunteer CFA Standards Representative please contact the Standards Coordinator at